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.
CitationMak, 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.
- Teacher education
- Hong Kong teachers