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Caribbean Journal of Education

Towards Professionalizing Teaching in the Caribbean: The CARICOM Journey

Publication Date: 
September 2011

A profession has been defined as a community of workers whose practice requires a specific body of knowledge and competences acquired through specialized, professional training. Such a group operates within specific codes of behaviour guided by professional literature and legislation (Wise and Leibbrand, 1993; Jackson, 2010). Wise and Leibbrand have expressed the view that, like other professions, teachers learn a specific body of knowledge and develop skills over time through a coherent programme of study. This view is supported by the ILO/UNESCO 1966 recommendation that teaching should be regarded as a profession as it requires expert knowledge and specialized skills. Notwithstanding, teachers have failed to enjoy the prestige and privilege that other service-oriented professions, such as the legal and medical groups, have enjoyed. This paper examines efforts undertaken by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to establish a harmonized set of standards for the region's teaching profession.

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