What is an Expert?

What would you call a professional who did actual field research 36 weeks a year?  They were classically trained for 4-6 years and continue their education to stay current in the field.  They collect quantitative and qualitative data, evaluating singular and large samples sizes.  The record their data and make predictions, which they share with a community of other professionals who combine their findings to refine their theories.  Would you call them a scientist?  Would you call them an expert?  I would call them a teacher.

Unfortunately the de-professionalization of teachers throughout the history of public education has attempted to reduced our role to that of a worker on the assembly line.  More importantly it has reduced our public image and therefore our general influence over change in our own profession.  We are the receivers of educational policy.  We need to be the makers of educational policy.  Aren't we the experts?

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