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Abstract

Although there are numerous calls to enhance the professionalism of teachers, there is little empirical research in the United States that examines educators’ understanding of the concept. This exploratory case study compared the conceptualization of professionalism by faculty and students in a college of education vis-à-vis the conceptualization of the construct by faculty and students in a school of social work. Findings revealed that participants in the education program expressed individualistic and somewhat restricted views of professionalism. Social work faculty and some social work students, on the other hand, expressed a collective and extended view of the concept. These findings suggest that in order to empower teachers to be full professionals, a deliberate attention to the development of their professionalism is needed.

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