The professionalization of Hong Kong teachers: Dilemma between technical rationality and individual autonomy

Chiu Ling Grace MAK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article studies the dilemma between professionalization and professionalism in the development of teaching into a bureaucratic organization in Hong Kong. Professionalization and bureucractization are simultaneous processes. Teaching as an occupation has grown from a state of idiosyncrasy to a profession with defined boundaries. However, achieving system efficiency and technical rationality, both features of bureaucracy, could undermine or suppress teachers’ individual autonomy. Thus, bureaucratization supports professionalization by raising the status of teaching, but undermines professionalism by constraining teachers’ autonomy. The article examines the changing pattern of stratification and how it shaped the relationship between the professionalization, bureaucratization and professionalism of teaching in Hong Kong. It argues that teaching cannot be a true profession without realizing professionalism, and that teacher education has a central role in the drive towards it. Copyright © 2003 Education Research Institute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-180
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

Fingerprint

professionalization
rationality
Hong Kong
autonomy
bureaucratization
Teaching
teacher
profession
bureaucracy
occupation
organization
efficiency
professionalism
education

Citation

Mak, G. C. L. (2003). The professionalization of Hong Kong teachers: Dilemma between technical rationality and individual autonomy. Asia Pacific Education Review, 4(2), 170-180.

Keywords

  • Stratification
  • Teacher education
  • Hong Kong teachers
  • Professionalization
  • Professionalism