Involvement on a community of pedagogical discourse is more than a voluntary option for individuals who seek support and opportunities for growth. It is a professional obligation that educational institutions should expect of those who teach–for the privatization of teaching not only keeps individuals from growing in their craft but fosters institutional incompetence as well. By privatizing teaching, we make it hard for educational institutions to become more adept at fulfilling their mission.

The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by private trial and error, to be sure–but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals is severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks. When any function is privatized, the most likely outcome is that people will perform it conservatively, refusing to stray far from the silent consensus on what ‘works’–even when it clearly does not” (Palmer, 1998, p. 144).


Palmer, P. J. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.