Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Teaching for profit -- say what?

Over at The Future of Teaching, John Holland has raised some interesting questions about the differences between "teacher leaders" and "teacherpreneurism." Check out John's graphic (below) to get a sense of where John is heading:
With this graphic, John has done a terrific job of probing the differences between “Teacher Leader” and “Teacherpreneur.” I like money as much as the next person, but I wonder about the “non-profit v. for-profit” dichotomy.
By associating teacherpreneur with profit, we embrace a extrinsic reward model of education. The implication is that teachers would do more/better only if we were paid better. I certainly would like a higher salary, but I think we’ve got to focus on effective working conditions that help teachers flourish. Nor are many of our colleagues just plain “lazy.”

Besides, in order to garner “profit,” you have to exploit some resource.  What services are we going to cut in order to create this profit?   If we insert profit into public education, then the goal becomes more about making money and less about fostering democratic habits of mind and body [& spirit].  Is "for-profit"  a model we want for public education?

Why not just pay teachers really well for their important, child-rearing endeavors and elevate collaboration, creativity and critical thinking as our aims?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Gamal. I don't think I am proposing that teaching or education should be for profit. I am proposing that when it comes to teachers "owning" their profession,this is one way to think about it. I am firmly of the opinion that every educational reform has the potential for at least 5 times as much harm as good that is produces. That is why I think we need to play this out before anything changes.
    There is also the idea of kids being learning entrepreneurs ie. owning their own learning.
    I will post a link to your post in our comment section.

    I am not sure if I am for or against teacherpreneurism as a reform. I do know that I am one for better or worse.