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Caribbean Journal of Education

Concepts of Professionalism among Prospective Teachers in Jamaica

Publication Date: 
September 2011

Knowledge about how Jamaican teachers understand the concept of teacher professionalism is limited. In this qualitative study, 52 final-year student teachers participated in semi-structured interviews and concept mapping exercises designed to explore how they understand teacher professionalism. The analysis revealed that they view professional teachers as those who embody outstanding personal and professional attributes; recognize the complexity and contextual challenges of teaching; and respond to these by connecting the realities of their classrooms with what they have learnt in college. Findings also revealed that student teachers' early conceptualizations of teacher professionalism are influenced to a great extent by their college experiences. Of concern, however, were the gaps in their conceptualization of the teacher as a professional.

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