There is an excellent blog called Dancing Princesses – in which colleagues in the FE sector are talking about, and doing, many of the things I have been discussing in relation to school teacher professionalism. They left this comment on my last blogpost, and I thought it was worth a blog in it’s own right . . .
Why did we set up Tutor Voices?
• Voice of democratic professionalism: To enable practitioners to have a strong, democratic, collective and autonomous professional voice on issues of practice and policy.
• Research and pedagogy: To encourage a network of practitioners and researchers committed to a culture of discussion, sharing, reflective inquiry and joint practice development informed by research and linked to policy.
• Champion sector: To defend and promote well-resourced vocational, academic and community-based education and comprehensive lifelong learning and education for democratic citizenship. To champion different types of knowledge (propositional, procedural, craft knowledge) and the three dimensions of professionalism (knowledge of subject; knowing how to teach it well and how students learn it; and involvement in local and national politics as they affect education as a whole).
• Influence Policy: To represent tutors on all government reforms effecting the professional lives of tutors.
• Releasing the creativity of all members: a creativity that has so far been stifled by government changes and managerial diktats.
Proposed founding principles:
1. Democratic: the association’s fundamental operating ethos will be democracy.
2. An ethic of professional service to students: our expertise in TLA will foster our students as independent, critical thinkers who are also active citizens in our democracy.
3. Inclusive: open to all sector practitioners, and interested HE researchers, HE FE teacher trainers etc.
4. Representative: whilst membership will be inclusive, democratic decision making processes and eligibility for elected posts will be solely open to professionals with substantive teaching roles.
5. Participatory: encourage engaged associates, and principally organised by lay activists.
6. Egalitarian: actively promote equality, with no grades of membership or patrons.
7. Transparent: establish electronic archives of all key association documents.
8. Independent: no government funding, and no formal links with any sector body or trade union.
9. Collaborative: committed to a culture of discussion, sharing, reflective inquiry and development informed by research and linked to policy.
10. Campaigning: with the professional knowledge and expertise to challenge college managements, sector bodies, and government.