Teachers have an important role to play in the quality of schools. New (policy) initiatives are therefore regularly launched in the Netherlands to strengthen teachers’ professionalism.
These initiatives are mainly directed towards the ‘image’ of the profession – the status and respect enjoyed by this occupational group – and much less towards the ‘substance’ of teaching – the attitudes and actions of individual teachers in their daily work in the classroom.
Change has been a constant feature in society, education and schools. This has made the context of the teaching profession more dynamic and less predictable, requiring more professionalism. In the exploratory report Being a teacher, the Dutch Education Council calls for closer attention to teachers’ individual professionalism. The Council consulted teachers, some of who are active in VET, and other experts to explore what is required of teachers today for them to function successfully as professionals.