Teachers undertaking master?ǨѢs level professional study: An investigation into motives and perceived outcomes

Adrian Mee

Abstract


This paper reports the outcomes of a small scale enquiry focussing on the impact of professional master?ǨѢs level study undertaken by teachers in the early years of their career. It reports the perceived benefits of undertaking such study in terms of professional competency, personal motivation and career progression. It discusses the barriers faced by students undertaking such courses and how these are balanced against the perceived benefits.
It is suggested that the factors driving teachers to undertake such a course and the outcomes they perceive map clearly to a vocational professional model where the higher level needs of Maslow?ǨѢs motivational hierarchy such as self-actualisation, professional esteem and a need to belong to a professional community take priority over lower level needs.
The paper goes on to discuss the highly variable way in which schools respond to teachers undertaking further study with some actively facilitating dissemination whilst others neglect to capitalise on this investment.
Finally the importance of such courses is discussed in relation to rebalancing the locus of control of education between client stakeholders, educational professionals and government. It is suggested that such courses offer a necessary balance to competency based systems of professional accreditation which cast educational professionals, particularly those below the level of institutional leadership, in the role of policy implementers rather than policy stakeholders and as receivers of good practice rather than classroom based professionals actively involved in defining it.
Whilst the study relates to the UK the trend for increasingly centralised control of educational policy and its impact on the definition of professionalism are applicable in many developed nations.

Full Text: PDF

Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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