Joseph A. Buijs


Underneath Teaching there lies a conceptual framework through which we view its role and purpose. Different frameworks vary in outlook and imply contrasting attitudes and values. Which one we adopt impacts on what and how we teach. This study explores what it means to think of teaching as a professions versus a vocation. Its focus is restricted to teaching at the university level, but the analysis can be applied to other aspects of an academic career. The issue is of particular interest in relation to the Christian or Catholic identity of denominational colleges and universities. The intent is to show how the conceptual framework of a profession versus a vocation implies a number of contrasting attitudes and values towards teaching. Al though these contrasts need not be incompatible, they are in dialectical tension within academic institutions: excess of one highlights absence of the other, Finally, the study suggests that teaching as a vocation more directly promotes a distinctively Christian or Catholic identity in denominational institutions of higher education.

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