What happens in teacher preparation, the early years of teaching, and throughout the career, however, is another story.
Those with a clear sense of moral purpose often become disheartened, and those with a limited sense of purpose are never called upon to demonstrate their commitment.
To break the impasse, we need a new conception of teacher professionalism that integrates moral purpose and change agentry, one that works simultaneously on individual and institutional development. Working on personal visions means examining and re-examining why we came into teaching.
Asking “What difference am I trying to make personally? For most of us, the reasons are there, but possibly buried. It gives meaning to work, and it exists independently of the organization or group we happen to be in.
Mastery involves strong initial teacher education and career-long staff development, but when we place it in the perspective of comprehensive change, it is much more than this.
Beyond exposure to new ideas, we have to know where they fit, and we have to become skilled in them, not just like them.
For the beginning teacher, they may be underdeveloped. Block emphasizes that “creating a vision forces us to take a stand for a preferred future” (1987, p. To articulate our vision of the future “is to come out of the closet with our doubts about the organization and the way it operates” (p. Once it gets going, it is not as private as it sounds.
Especially in moral occupations like teaching, the more one takes the risk to express personal purpose, the more kindred spirits one will find.
New mind-sets arise from mastery as much as the reverse.
It has long been known that expertise is central to successful change, so it is surprising how little attention we pay to it beyond one-shot workshops and disconnected training.