Lesley Scanlon is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia. Lesley has over 30 years’ experience in secondary schools, technical and further education, and universities. Her research interests include the formation of professional identities and the impact of education policy on disadvantaged schools.
In a world where being a ‘professional’ is an increasingly indistinct notion and where better education and technology are challenging ‘professional’ norms, it is imperative that we no longer think in terms of an exclusive, ‘Anglo-American’, knowledge-rich class of workers. Exploring the implications of this insight for professions including nursing, teaching, social work, engineering and the clergy, this volume aims to encourage informed debate on what it means to be a ‘professional’ in this globalised 21st century.
The book argues that ‘becoming’ a professional is a lifelong process in which individual professional identities are constructed through formal education, workplace interactions and popular culture. The book advocates the ‘ongoingness’ of developing a professional self throughout one’s professional life. What emerges is a concept of becoming a professional different from the isolated, rugged, individualistic approach to traditional professional practice as represented in popular culture. It is a book for the reflective professional.
Scanlon examines the knowledge teachers create through their research and how that knowledge is perceived by others within the school community. This book can be read as a companion volume to Scanlon’s 2015 Routledge publication My School, or as a standalone exploration of teachers’ own narratives of engaging in action research. Together, these two books are unique in contemporary writing on schools, representing one of the only comprehensive longitudinal studies of a low socioeconomic secondary school from the perspective of those who learn and teach therein.
This book enables teachers to be part of the scholarly conversation about their work and the place of research in that work. As such, it should be essential reading for academics, teacher educators and postgraduates in the field of education. It should also be of interest to policymakers and teachers.