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The New Professionalism.

“The new professionalism: …collaborative, not autonomous; open rather than closed; outward looking rather than insular…The teaching profession must become a better learning profession”. –Michael Fullan, 2007


CBC Radio One’s Twilight of the Gods, episode 5 written, narrated, and produce by Robert Harris is a revealing look at the rise and fall of the recording industry. Harris argues that the recording business had a huge part to play in the way we communicated with each other in the twentieth century. Beginning with Thomas Edison’s invention through to the record companies control of the production of music in the 1990’s, the  business of music has meant the power and control of many were held in the hands of the few.

And then came the Internet.

The last decade has seen the shifting of how music is made, produced, and distributed. I guess we can think about this change as a democratization of the industry. But Harris argues for something even more than that.

Arts and Crafts Productions (A&C), a Toronto-based music company, is one of the new breed. Born in 2002, this is a recording company that is bred on shared ownership, collaboration, and recognizing the value of shared resources. And they have been hugely successful, winning many Juno awards and catapulting indie artists like Feist to the stratosphere….together. When traditional recording companies are floundering to figure out what to do about how their world has changed with the advent of the Internet, companies like A&C have soared. It’s all about understanding relationships and what success means. It used to be about unshared power and decision making and huge record sales; it’s now about collaboration, and although success is still important, what constitutes success is radically different than it was in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Now, according to Jeremy Remedios, co-owner of A&C, the goal is comfortable subsistence and ensuring that they have taken the artist to his or her true potential.

That’s my goal too. I need to move into the 21st century with my students, to share the role of teaching and leading, to collaborate, to expand my repertoire of instructional practices that will ensure that each of my students can reach her or his potential.

I aim to be a new professional.



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