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The Future of The Teaching Profession. Dr. E. Calvin Fraser Secretary General Canadian Teachers’ Federation January 2013 . The Stakes: Two Extreme Considerations . Teachers As Technicians . Teachers As Professionals . Strong Union Leadership. Unions Disappear Altogether.

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The Future of The Teaching Profession

Dr. E. Calvin Fraser

Secretary General

Canadian Teachers’ Federation

January 2013

the stakes two extreme considerations

The Stakes:Two Extreme Considerations


As Technicians


As Professionals

Strong Union


Unions Disappear



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" —that the general purpose of school is to transfer knowledge and prepare young people to participate in America’s democratic society." But, says Carter, that definition is insular and inadequate in the 21st century. Instead he'd rather that "purpose of schools must be preparing children to compete in the global environment."


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Can teacher unions survive without changing their focus?

  • Do our members understand the roots of the criticism and how they are being isolated?
  • Are we even talking about ways to reassure parents?
  • Are we making the public aware of the value of unions or do we continue to fight the reactive battles without considering the full agenda of privatization?
  • Are we part of the problem – do we use business terminology to discuss educational issues? Have we allowed others to choose the playing field?
  • Is the answer to any of these questions … “Sometimes” ?

Can we succeed from outside?

… because they are rarely invited to the table to discuss substantive policy issues with education decision makers, teachers’ organisations can only react after the fact to decisions that have already been made.

Nina Bascia in a paper for

Education International (2011).



Focus on a Visible Teacher Voice


Economy Lab

Why it's so hard to measure a 'quality' education


Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jan. 13 2012, 7:54 AM EST

Last updated Monday, Sep. 10 2012, 2:11 PM EDT


When outsiders set the agenda in

If powerful groups in society want to change teachers and change teaching…

Could we have a future with no unions?


The future of teaching may depend on our answers

Are we able to take charge of our own qualifications and expertise? Do our organizations even want to at this time?

Are we able to broaden the public discourse on public education?

Are we able to get the public onside?

Are we able to get commitment from our own members?