Critical professionalism: a lecturer attribute for troubled times
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This chapter describes the research-based project, Critical Professionalism, which gave rise to several of the chapters in this volume. We suggest that the concept of critical professionalism, with its strong value orientation, makes a foundational contribution to approaches to professional development for teaching for the public good in South Africa and other parts of the world. We use data generated from this project to tease out some of the characteristics of critical professionals, as well as some of the key ingredients necessary to support the emergence of academics as critical professionals. We begin by setting the scene for the study and explaining why, in the present era, academics’ sense of agency, criticality and professionalism might be threatened – to a fair degree by the rise of the audit culture and a strong managerial and prescriptive approach to steering the direction of higher education.