Some Differences Between Lecturers and Teachers

Extract from Lowry (1995), "Professional and proud of it",
Letter to the Editor, Campus News Feb 9-15, 1995.

Teachers receive and must teach a set curriculum. Academics are responsible for developing and setting their own material and examinations.

Teachers stand in loco-parentis, focusing on teaching activities and techniques, providing pastoral care for pupils who are minor children. Academics have a wider focus which includes the production and dissemination of new knowldege in addition to mentoring self-motivated adult students who are responsible for their own learning.

Teachers are judged primarily on teaching performance. Academics are judged on their research and scholarly productivity as well as teaching performance.

Teachers' career paths focus on teaching and advancement into school adminsitration. Academics' career paths focus on discovery through research, mentoring and teaching students, and extra-university community service.

While the "end-on" model introduced in some education schools during the past year will potentially upgrade the teaching profession, teachers normally enter their profession with a single qualification, usually a bachelor degree, representing some mix of teaching teory, methods, practice, classroom management and subject knowledge in a broad discipline. In contrast, academics must earn a higher qualification, usually a research degree, in addition to an honours degree, requiring mastery of a substantial body of disciplinary knowledge and the acquisition and demonstration of research knowledge and skill as a condition of employment.

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