The Concepts of Professional and Professionalism. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. The professions have fallen under criticism for being elitist and protectionist in their efforts to act as a barrier to entry into the profession and a social shield for their members to protect their income as well as their reputation. Professional associations today are required to be more responsive, informed, ethical, and conscientious in their role of protecting the profession from unwarranted disgrace while reinforcing the public perception of integrity and honor within the professional association. Technology and specialization have resulted in the fragmentation of many professions. Membership in a professional association is most often based on specific skills and qualifications. Today, an association defines the occupation and categorizes the knowledge and skills according to the rigorous guidelines set by the state or the industry. The traditional model of the Professional Association as a limitation to entry into the profession has evolved into a post-modern taxonomic model at the cost of producing a student’s well-rounded experience in teaching and learning.
The professional association (PA) has been a natural outgrowth from the antiquated system of apprenticeship that gained acceptance into the craft, tradesmen, and occupational guilds of the middle ages. With the advent of the 16th century, more complex systems of economics, trade, specialization, and accountability emphasized the critical need of specific occupations to maintain the social order and provide for the governmentality of the nation-state (Evetts, 2003, p.405). By the middle of the 19th century, professionals would form associations that would serve to differentiate their members from the excluded non-members. Scottish accountants were forming PAs under the Royal Charter system for the purpose of gaining legitimacy. The monopolistic hold based on mystification and cultural capital needed for membership has eroded as we have seen in the legal profession. Medicine has been exposed to greater outside pressures and has lost much of their power due to a diminished autonomy. The blurring lines in education between higher education and further education have weakened occupational closure in the field of education. New delivery systems, online learning, continued professional development, and specialty courses have made the professions more accessible than ever. .