Deconstructing professional history relates to the occupational performance of activities for which the degree program is preparing students and relates to transitional periods – between education and career, for example. Discuss the historical processes of these professions’ emergence and evolution, but also current factors and trends. Your teaching can analyze aspects on the individual, institutional, and societal levels using questions such as the followings:
Although the profession of schoolteacher was once exclusively practiced by men, there is now a relatively high percentage of women schoolteachers. This percentage depends on the type of school and drops considerably for higher administrative roles, such as school principal. Deconstructing these gender relations and their significance for school and teaching is highly relevant to teacher training. This might take the form of a critical discussion about stereotypes regarding male and female elementary school teachers and their function as role models for schoolchildren. Since 2010, the University of Hildesheim Foundation has given its students the opportunity to deconstruct these occupation-related issues (Hastedt/Lange 2012).
When deconstructing the history of the legal profession, you can address the occupational ban on Jewish lawyers under Nazi rule.
You can find more specific suggestions for several disciplines, such as networks and scholars’ biographies, under Discipline-Specific Entry Points.
Academic critique of one’s discipline encompasses the history of the discipline and all processes of knowledge production. The type of language used, whether formal or informal, plays a role. The specific learning and academic culture of your discipline is especially relevant to your teaching. You can address this by asking the following questions:
Some disciplines’ classification as a natural science versus a social science/humanity is contested. In some cases, the classification has shifted historically or led to the development of different subfields, as in geography or psychology. You can discuss the related associations and value assessments in your teaching.
In sociology, for instance, sociology of work frequently emphasizes payed work. A gender- and diversity-conscious perspective reveals that this disregard for unpaid reproductive work such as housework and care for family members simultaneously excludes from analysis an unequal distribution of labor based on gender, migration, globalization, etc.
You can find more concrete suggestions under Discipline-Specific Entry Points, for example, how to discuss the history of STEM disciplines with more nuance by focusing on the lives of lesser-known but important and influential scholars and theorists.