Professional Development Within the Lifelong Learning Sector

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Helen Smith
Module 4: Professional Development
Within the Essay I will be discussing Professionalism within my role as a Childcare Tutor for Lifeskills Solutions. I will be defining Professionalism within the Lifelong Learning Sector and discussing what constitutes Professional characteristics and attitudes relating to my own Professional standards. The Essay will also discuss teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector as a dual profession and will evaluate the changing status of further education. The Essay will highlight the connection between Professionalism and Reflective Practice. I will be identifying the importance of reflection and identifying three models of reflection and will be relating them to my own practice as a Reflective Practitioner. To support the identification of the Reflective models I will be using one model to show how I used the model to change the effectiveness of an activity undertaken within my Childcare Level 1 classroom sessions. To be a Professional within your job role according to Jocelyn Robson (2006) relates to three components including the individual having a high level of professional knowledge relating to their subject and how they teach. Robson (2006) recognises that professional’s within the Lifelong Learning Sector are Dual Professionals, Professionals within their vocation, as well as education. Within the three components Professionalism is identified as having autonomy where behaviour is handled consistently and appropriately to maintain high standards of teaching and learning.

“Professionalism results as a consequence of setting high standards by maintaining appropriate specialist knowledge, and by shared values”. (Roffey-Barentsen and Malthouse (2009), Page 14).

Liz Beaty’s (2000) Ethical Principles of Professional behaviour echoes Jocelyn Robson’s (2006) three components. The Principles identify the characteristics of Professionals as responsibilities related to their knowledge and experience, which enables them to be able to be an expert in their subject as well as be pedagogically competent. The Professional within the Lifelong Learning Sector should be able to facilitate learning, behave respectful and treat learners as individuals, maintaining an open, honest and positive approach which can motivate, however is sensitive to the learner’s views and opinions. The Professional is identified as having a relationship with the learner which is focused on the pedagogical needs of the learner and their academic requirements.

To be able to up hold the Principles of Professionalism provided by Beaty (2000) the Professional needs integrity and to work to the Codes of Conduct which are laid down by the Professional Body and educational establishment. Avis et al (2010) identifies a definition of a Professional being one where an individual is a member of a Professional Body such as the Institute of Learning. This puts into question the recent decision to make membership of the Institute of Learning as voluntary as being damaging to the integrity of Professionals within the Lifelong Learning Sector. My own attitude and believe in my role within Lifeskills Solutions forms the basis of my Professionalism. I approach my teaching with the philosophy of wanting to help young people to improve their quality and perception of their futures, having confidence in their ability to achieve and be successful. I teach young people aged 16 to 18 years, therefore I help the learners to gain the understanding of how learning is a lifelong process and that they can be successful and achieve. To be able to uphold these principles I ensure that I am always respectful, I treat learners with dignity and consideration. The personal development of my learners is also my responsibility and therefore I educate learners regarding equality and diversity topics to help them to gain respect and consideration for other people’s backgrounds, cultures and religious practices. I...
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