Socialization is a lifelong process by which a person learns the ways of a group or society in order to become a functioning participant. It is a process that produces attitudes, values, knowledge, and skills require to participate effectively as an individual or a group member. Professional Socialization of a teacher implies the transition of the graduate to a full- fledged professional that is facilitated if there is congruence between the norms, values, and expectations of the educational program and the realities of the work setting.
Professional Socialization is a process by which an individual learns the roles and responsibilities of his or her profession and emerges as a member of the professional culture. Weidman, Twale and Stein (2001) define socialization as “the process by which persons acquire the knowledge, skills and disposition that makes them more or less effective members of society”. They add “socialization has also been recognized as a subconscious process whereby persons internalize behavioural norms and standards and form a sense of identity and commitment to a professional field”.
Waugman and Lohrer (2000) also include in the definition:
Taking on the group‘s organizational goals and social mission; Advocating its knowledge;
Learning technology and language of the profession and
Integrating the professional role into one‘s identity and other life roles as components of professional socialization.
Howkins and Ewens (cited in Secrest, Norwood and Keatley 2003) state that professional socialization encompasses values and norms as well as skills and behaviours.
According to Olesen and Whittaker professional socialization is "The process of culture change in which more or less continuous contact between two or more culturally distinct groups results in one group taking over elements of the culture of the other group"
Pema and Hudgins (1996) offer the following; “Acquiring a professional identity involves learning not only knowledge and skills required to perform a particular job task but also the attitudes, values, norms, language and perspectives necessary to interpret experience, interact with others, prioritize activities and determine appropriate behaviour”.
PHASES AND STAGES OF PROFESSIONAL SOCIALIZATION OF TEACHERS
There are different Models of Professional Socialization. They are as follows;
Stage 1: Proficiency in specific work tasks.
Stage 2: Attachment to significant others in the work environment.
Stage 3: Internalization of the values of the professional group and adoption of the behaviors it prescribes.
Phase I: Transition of anticipated role expectations to the role expectations of societal group.
Phase II has two components: Component One: Attachment to significant others. Component Two: The ability to note incongruencies between anticipated roles and those presented by their significant others. This phase may involve strong emotional reactions to conflicted sets of expectations. Resolution of conflicts is successful if their role models demonstrate appropriate behaviors and show how conflicting systems of standards and values can be integrated.
Phase III: Internalization of role values/behaviors. The degree of internalization and extent of resolution of conflicts is variable.
The professional socialization process is often defined by three phases:
- Professional preparation
- Organizational socialization
The first two phases are considered preservice or anticipatory socialization phases that occur before and during the professional education period. Organizational socialization is considered the in-service period during which the individual interprets and assumes the role of a quallified professional within a given work environment.
(Olensen and Whittaker 1970). Staton and Hunt (1992) created a chronological model of the socialization process of teachers. The model consists of three categories: Biography, pre-service experience and in- service experience. The initial role is played by the first two processes: Biography and Pre-service Experience which can be considered as an early form of a teacher's socialization. Many authors including Wright (1959) and Wright and Tuska (1967) argue that the kind of relationship between teachers and essential people in their early childhood affects their choice of work as educators in the future. Teachers create stereotypes that affect their behavior and role as teachers. For some this role model will become the guideline of how a teacher should be.
Weidman, Twale and Stein (2001) undertook a comprehensive review of graduate and professional socialization in higher education. They devised a model that provides a useful base to explain socialization in the higher education setting. The model is presented in below picture
Weidman, Twale and Stein (2001) Model for the Professional Socialization of Teachers
Thus Professional socialization is a two step process that is formal and informal in which the skills and values acquired in training must be adjusted to the demands of the work setting.
According to the learning style theory, learning is a four stage process: "Concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation" (Kolb, 1974).In order to become a high achiever, a student should be encouraged though learning,
i.e. through teaching, to get involved, integrated and make a great effort at
academic tasks. (Astin 1984; Kuh 1996; Pascarella and Terenzini 1991). Thus, students should be encouraged by faculty members, to participate in student's activities, integrate into the major program, and participate in research projects. According to McKinney, et al (1998) outside classroom activities lead to the socialization process of students.
"Professional socialization" or informal socialization such as: independent research papers, volunteer service, informal interaction with faculty members and teachers ... May be seen by some as unimportant but considered crucial for others. McKinney, et al, (1998) emphasized that "Providing learning opportunities and experiences, as well as knowledge and skills help students understand the workings of college life, the importance of a well-rounded academic experience, the sociological imagination, and the ethics and standards of our discipline." Other authors defined these activities as the "Other" or "Informal" curriculum that is activities outside the traditional classroom. (Kuh 1993; Kuh, et al,1994). According to Weidman (1989) both formal and informal socialization influence students' values, aspirations and career choices.
The importance of professional socialization outside class room activities was discussed by McKinney, et al. (1998). They argued that: Professional socialization encourages active rather than passive learning, a process which would fit the diverse student population inevitably breaking the ice and acting as a remedy to the declining enrollments. Hence, it works on retaining the top students and preparing them for graduate programs. On the other hand, Brooks (1997) considered professional socialization as a solver for the problem of isolation that takes place because of the use of technology in the teaching and learning process.
Many positive relations exist between professional socialization and student outcomes. Neapolitan (1992) studied the effect of a small scale internship program on the clarity of career plans of students. He concluded that students who participated in internship programs were more confident about their career choices and majors. Pascarella (1980) suggests that a positive relation exists between informal socialization and: students' satisfaction with the college experience, with greater educational aspirations, intellectual development, academic achievement and persistence in college. In addition, "greater student-faculty interaction, out of class interaction with faculty members, or working with faculty members on research outside the class" were found to be positively related to students' satisfaction with the institution (Astin 1993), persistence (Grosset 1991), educational aspiration (Hearn 1987; Pascarella 1985), academic growth (Terenzini and Wright 1987), knowledge acquisition (Kuh 1993; Springer et al. 1995) and career interest and selection (Astin 1993). Others researchers studied the effects of "students' involvement in extra curricular activities". The results showed a positive correlation with persistence (Caroll 1988; Christie and Diham 1991; Pascarella and Chapman 1983), academic growth (Terenzini and Wright 1987), and level of intrinsic interest in learning (Terenzini et al. 1995) of students.
According to McKinney, et al (1998) the majority of students defined professional socialization "in terms of learning what behaviors, norms, or roles, are expected in their filed or future employment. Students talked about learning the job, about acting, speaking, interacting, and dressing professionally." The same students suggested a variety of means to improve professional socialization. They talked about: "improving internship programs, providing more information about career options, using of mentoring, and more interaction with faculty members". On the other hand, faculty members defined professional socialization in terms of "involving students in research, pro-seminars, capstone courses, informal contact with faculty members, taking students to professional conferences, participating in faculty-student social event, and/or department research symposia, and/or field trip, and/or career days, and/or departmental newspaper ..."
Despite the fact that the majority of researchers encourage informal socialization due to the various benefits it offers, many barriers still exist. Many faculty members complain of the additional work requiring extra time and extra efforts, as well as the extra cost for the institution promoting such a form of socialization. Other problems relate to resistance to change that might take place because some faculty members and chairs are unwilling to accept reform. Another opposing party might be parents and legislators. In this case, students may not be able to cope in such an environment or may become unmotivated to do the extra job, as well as the faculty reward structure might be unable to evaluate the job of every faculty member and thus compensate accordingly, which in fact can be another demotivator. (McKinney, et al, 1998)
In his quest to find the characteristics of an excellent teacher, Collinson (1999) defined three kinds of knowledge an excellent teacher should have. It is no more a matter of professional knowledge or the degree to which the teacher has control over his subject, but interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge as well. Interpersonal knowledge defined as "People Skills" is "The relationship and interactions related to the teacher with his/her surrounding". Howey and Collinson. (1995) supported the importance of interpersonal knowledge since it makes teachers more tolerant to criticism, to various points of view and push them to accept new methods in learning and teaching. Sternberg and Horvard (1995) emphasized the link between successful informal socialization in its various forms and interpersonal knowledge. On the other hand, Intrapersonal knowledge is defined as "Who we are" it is concerned with "ethic of care, work ethic, and disposition toward learning". The ability of a teacher to translate his own ethics and disposition to students will definitely affect student's performance, commitment and confidence.
To sum up and according to Weidman (1989) both formal and informal socialization influence students' values, aspirations and career choices.
PROFESSIONALS AS AN INTEREST GROUP
Advocacy groups (also pressure groups, lobby groups and some interest groups and special interest groups) use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion and/or policy; they have played and continue to play an important part in the development of political and social systems. Groups vary considerably in size, influence and motive; some have wide ranging long term social purposes, others are focused and are a response to an immediate issue or concern.
Motives for action may be based on a shared political, faith, moral or commercial position. Groups use varied methods to try to achieve their aims including lobbying, media campaigns, publicity stunts, polls, research and policy briefings. Some groups are supported by powerful business or political interests and exert considerable influence on the political process, others have few such resources.
A Special Interest Group (SIG) is a community with an interest in advancing a specific area of knowledge, learning or technology where members cooperate to effect or to produce solutions within their particular field, and may meet communicate, meet and organize conferences.
TEACHERS’ ORGANIZATIONS AS TEACHERS’ INTEREST GROUPS:
Teaching got its legitimate status as a profession in the landmark work of A.M. Carr Saunders and P.A. Wilson, (1933), who identified sixteen professions including teaching. Teaching is, as we can recall from an earlier discussion, based on a body of knowledge. The practitioners of teaching pass through a rigorous path of discipline orientation before they are brought into the scope of teachers‘ profession. They commit themselves for the cause of teaching throughout their life. They are bound by a code of conduct. Persons pursuing a profession, after assessing their occupational situation, come to associate in a ‘professionally meaningful‘ fashion. Such professional organizations promote professionalization of the occupation by contributing towards professional identity, solidarity, autonomy and status.
Teachers‘ organizations are formed in order to promote their members‘ interests through activities such as political and social action, collective bargaining, publication, conferences and training. They foster the welfare and security of their members, facilitate information exchange and generate and promote codes of conduct. Some of them even openly operate as direct pressure groups in the formulation of public policy. Teachers‘ organizations vary in terms of their membership, internal governance, goals and activities, and effects.
Teachers‘ interest groups provide an opportunity for teachers to participate in the affairs of the profession, serve as a liaison between teachers on the one hand and the administrators and the public, on the other, and assist in legislative campaigns has been recognized. Thus it would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of teachers‘ organizations for the effective functioning of teachers as professionals.
The Education Commission (1964-66) conceived of the role of the teachers‘ organizations as a very important input in the professionalization of teaching. It enunciated the following functions of teachers‘ organization;
i) to secure for their members, individually and collectively, their rightful status – social, economic and professional;
ii)to safeguard their professional interests and secure satisfactory conditions of work and service;
iii) to secure the professional growth of teachers through refresher courses, seminars, publications, library service and research;
iv) to work for the improvement of education in response to the challenge of the ever changing socio economic situation;
v)to improve the teaching of subjects through the establishment of teachers‘ associations and
vi) to establish a professional code of conduct for teachers to ensure that it is followed by members.
The Teachers‘ Interest groups help in the fostering of teacher professionalism. Some of the activities are:
• organize seminars and symposia,
• run orientation and inservice courses,
• form subject teachers associations,
• help teachers in conducting examinations,
• run regular training courses for teachers once in two years,
• provide literature on academic matters of larger interest,
• conduct research work
• help in the curriculum development, conduct of examinations and evaluation,
• publish monthly journals, papers and newsletters evolve a code of conduct or professional ethics for its members and the academic community to follow.
OCCUPATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES
The Cohen et al Model explains why investment in professional development development by low capacity schools and school systems often has no effect or negative effect on morale and performance. An organization should be able to
- support the teacher in navigating the complex interactions among the new skills and knowledge he/she has acquired, existing patterns of student engagement and the modifications to curricula and content that may be necessary to execute the new practices in this particular setting with these particular students.
- Offer consistent messages to principals, teachers and students about what goals are most important and what resources are available to support the work of meeting them.
- Make no judgements about performance of teachers and students without first ensuring that the conditions for high performance have been met
- Have no expectations from its people to demonstrate knowledge and skills that they haven‘t had the opportunity to learn.
- These conditions create a formidable agenda of organizational redesign for most schools and school systems. For this the organizational system would have to;
- Have considerable expertise about the instructional practices they expect teachers to acquire. That expertise would have to entail, not just teaching teachers how to teach differently, but actually working with teachers in their classrooms to solve problems of practice in a way that supports continuous improvement.
- Manage its resources to support and fund the work of teachers and professional developers in sustained interaction.
- Set priorities, clearly stating what problems of instructional practice are central and which peripheral to overall improvement before deciding how to allocate professional development resources. Schools would have to become learning environments for teachers as well as for students.
- Make public and authoritative distinctions among teachers and administrators based on quality, competence, expertise and performance.
- Identify people who know what to do, to develop the capacity of those in the organization to learn what to do and to create settings in which people who know what to do teach those who don‘t.
Effective professional development requires the development of expertise as an organizational capacity and this requires differentiated organizational roles.
The issues that need to be looked into are;
- Objective and comprehensive evaluation of teachers.
- The belief that all teachers are equal in their skill and knowledge. This undermines the possibility that teachers can learn from each other in powerful ways, as well as learning from experts who are not part of their immediate circle of colleagues.
- Teaching is a largely undifferentiated occupation. Teachers work in isolation from each other.
- The culture of passivity and helplessness that pervades most institutions. Teachers and administrators learn this culture of passivity and helplessness as a consequence of working in dysfunctional organizations, not as a consequence of choosing to think and behave that way. Improving the organization will change what adults learn.
- The excuse that problems of “change” and improvement will require a long time and lot of money.
So the practice of improvement is about changing three things fundamentally and simultaneously:
1. The values and beliefs of people in schools about what is worth doing and what is possible to do;
2. The structural conditions under which the work is done; and
3. The ways in which people learn to do the work.
Forging working relationships in a multicultural environment requires genuine commitment, empathy, and sensitivity from administrators, educators, and staff members. Here are some key principles to remember:
Respect individual differences. Just as teachers respect students for their uniqueness, they ought to respect colleagues for their unique values, beliefs, and opinions. those people who are like us. But clustering with only members of
our own group prevents us from getting to know our colleagues.
Refrain from making judgments about others. One must not use one‘s own group's standards as a frame of reference. "Different" does not mean "inferior." There is intrinsic worth in every human being.
Learn to communicate more effectively. Become proficient in "low context" and "high context" communication. Listen and watch closely. Be empathetic to those learning the English language. Speak slowly and distinctly (not loudly) in order to be understood.
Accentuate the positive. Share the positive aspects of your culture.
Build up a positive environment through praise and appreciation.
RELATIONSHIP OF TEACHERS WITH ADMINISTRATORS, COLLEAGUES, STUDENTS AND GUARDIANS
Teachers and Administrators
As employees teachers should a) discharge their professional responsibilities according to existing rules, and at the same time they may undertake the responsibility to initiate moves and conduct movements through professional organizations for change of any existing rule detrimental to professional interest; b) conduct professional business through proper channels; c) refrain from undertaking any gainful employment or commitment which is likely to interfere with their professional responsibilities or which may impair their standing with students, their associations and/or the community; d) co-operate in the formulation of policies of the institutions by accepting various offices and discharge responsibilities which such offices may demand; e) co-operate through their organization in the formulation of policies of the institution and accept offices; f) co-operate with the authorities for the betterment of institutions keeping in view the interest and in conformity with dignity of the profession; g) should adhere to the contract until (1) service thereunder has been performed (2) the contract has been terminated by mutual consent; or (3) the contract has otherwise been legally terminated; h) give and expect due notice before a change of position is made; and i) refrain from availing themselves of leave expect on unavoidable grounds and as far as practicable with prior intimation, keeping in view their particular responsibility for completion of academic schedules.
Teachers and colleagues
It also seems most fair and natural that teachers should a) treat other members of the profession in the same manner as they themselves wish to be treated; b) speak respectfully of other teachers and render assistance for professional betterment; c) refrain from lodging secret complaints against colleagues to higher authorities; d) refrain from raising questions of castes, creed, religion, race or sex in their relationship with their colleagues or trying to use the same for improvement of their prospects.
Teachers and the students
teachers should a) respect the right and dignity of the student in expressing her opinion; b) deal justly and impartially with students regardless of their religions, castes, political, economic, social and physical characteristics; c) recognize needs; d) encourage students to improve their attainments, develop their personalities and attend to community welfare; e) inculcate among students a scientific outlook and respect for physical labour and ideals of democracy and peace; f) be affectionate to the students and not behave in a vindictive manner towards any of them for any reason; g) assess most of students on their attainment; students must be assessed with utmost objectivity and integrity; h) make themselves available to the students even beyond their class hours and help and guide students without consideration of remuneration or reward;
i) aid students to develop an understanding of our national heritage and national goals and j) refrain from inciting students against other students, against colleagues or administration. (This however should not interfere with the rights of teachers to freely express any difference on principle in seminars, meetings or other places where students also may be present.)
Teachers and non-teaching staff
(i)Teachers should treat the non-teaching staff as colleagues and equal partners in a cooperative undertaking, within every educational institution
(ii)Teachers should help joint staff-councils covering both teachers and non-teaching staff.
Teachers and guardians
Teachers should a) try see through teacher‘s bodies and organizations that institutions maintain contact with the guardians of their students, send reports of their performances to the guardians whenever necessary and meet the guardians in meetings covered for the purpose for mutual exchange of ideas and for the benefit of the institution.
STUDENT CONTROL IDEOLOGY
Student Control Ideology is defined by two constructs – Autonomy versus Control and Humanistic versus Authoritarian. The concept of teachers‘ autonomy versus control orientation grew from Cognitive Evaluation Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) which argues that adults tend to have a general orientation towards dealing with children that can be viewed as ranging from supporting the children‘s autonomy to controlling the children‘s behaviour. Teachers who tend to motivate behaviour through the use of external controls as rewards and comparisons are considered controlling whereas those who sought to minimize salient external controls and instead attempt to take the student‘s internal frame of reference with respect to problems, ideas and initiatives are considered as autonomy supportive.
There are four categories of the teachers‘ control versus autonomy construct:
highly control moderate control moderate autonomous highly autonomous
The highly controlling teacher identifies a solution and uses tangible extrinsic motivators or sanctions to ensure that his or her solutions are implemented. The moderate controlling teacher identifies a solution and encourages its implementation by appealing to the child‘s internalized sense of obligation or invoking guilt (“Do what you should”) to what others think is right (“it‘s for your own good”). The moderately autonomy teacher encourages the child to use social comparisons information which emphasizes understanding how his or her peers diagnose and solve the same problem. The highly autonomy supportive teacher encourages the child to diagnose his or her own problem, generate a solution, and try it out for himself or herself.
The second aspect of teacher orientation to be understood is the student control orientation whether it is humanitarian or authoritarian. From a humanistic orientation, the school is viewed as an educational community in which the students learn through co-operative interaction and experience. In this model learning and behaviour are viewed in psychological and sociological terms, not moralistic terms. This orientation stresses the importance of the individuality of each student and the creation of an atmosphere to meet the wide range of students‘ needs. Educators classified as humanistic are patient, congenial and easily approached by students. They are responsive to students‘ suggestions and ideas and encourage pupil self discipline and independence.
In contrast the authoritarian orientation depicts a classroom environment with a rigid and highly controlling setting concerned primarily with the maintenance of order. In this orientation, misbehavior is viewed as a personal affront and students are perceived as persons who must be controlled through the application of punitive sanctions. Authoritarian educators manifest suspicion and distrust of pupils, often addressing them in an unpleasant and angry manner. They react personally and judgmentally towards students who misbehave.
LET US SUM UP
Professional Socialization of teachers is an absolute necessity for the professional growth of teachers. This will ensure a healthy relationship between the teachers and the personnel involved in the organization. Teachers‘ organizations serve as very important interest groups that work towards the professional interests of the teachers.