Chapter Nine: Teachers and the Teaching Profession


  1. Consider the four definitions of a profession given in Box 9.1.1. Which definition do you prefer? Why? How well does teaching fit your chosen definition?
  2. Review the code of ethics for teachers in your province. Do you see any problems or inconsistencies in the code? If so, what are they and how might they be resolved?
  3. Interview one or two teachers about important ethical conflicts they have faced. (You will need to ensure that these discussions occur in a way that protects the confidentiality of all those involved). How did the teachers resolve the conflicts they faced? Can you think of other ways they might have acted?
  4. A fellow teacher is using teaching practices you consider inappropriate, even unethical. What might you do? Assuming that you refer the matter to your principal, what if they refuse to take any action?
  5. School principals and vice-principals usually strive to develop strong collegial ties with the teachers on their staff. Yet school boards expect them to represent the board’s management interests within their schools. Given these competing pressures, should principals and vice-principals be allowed to be members of provincial teachers’ organizations, or should they have their own autonomous professional organizations?
  6. Contact your provincial teachers’ association for information on the range of activities and services it sponsors. How many staff are employed by the association? What is its annual budget?
  7. Write a description of the collective bargaining process in your province. Who is involved? What steps occur? What mechanisms exist to resolve disputes?
  8. Obtain a collective agreement for teachers in your province. What are the main provisions in the agreement? Are there any provisions you find surprising?