Professional Judgment: Suspect or Sacrosanct?

By Helen M. Hazi.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In a postmodern and technologically driven world, professional judgment is suspect, while metrics is sacrosanct, seemingly more “objective” and infallible. The judgment of some professions (e.g., teachers) in the United States is more suspect than others.
This paper explores the place of judgment in defining the professions. Judgment is taken for granted and central to professional action, yet lacks a language to describe its processes and evoke confidence in those whose knowledge base and practice involve indeterminacy. The case of the public school teacher in the U.S. in the midst of a national crisis of accountability will be used to illustrate how judgment is suspect and metrics (i.e., student achievement scores) is being used as a proxy. The paper ends by offering ways to think about expert judgment.

Keywords: Professions, Postmodern, U.S. Teachers, Expert Judgment

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 9, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 767.721KB).

Dr. Helen M. Hazi

Professor, Educational Leadership, College of Education, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

As a professor for 30 years who teaches school law (and prepares school administrators who operate in much uncertainty as well as criticism from the public), I have wanted to further study how judges come to deliberate and whether law holds useful concepts to try to define professional judgment. I also want to go back to my roots in the humanities to help interpret ideas that most interest me.


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