From the list of 14 characteristics he assembled in 1980, Cyril Houle, a serious student of professional education, singled out self-development as professionalism's one unchanging feature; as he put it, “[A]s an occupational group raises its level of performance . . . its right to call itself a profession increases.”1 Houle's choice of words warrants serious attention: a profession is defined by what it does, not just what it knows, and by doing what it does better all the time, not just doing it well.
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