Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence

Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence

Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence

Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence

Synopsis

This volume analyzes different types of knowledge and know-how used by practising professionals in their work and how these different kinds of knowledge are acquired by a combination of learning from books, learning from people and learning from personal experience.; Drawing on various examples, problems addressed include the way theory changes and is personalized in practice, and how individuals form generalizations out of their practice. Eraut considers the meaning of client-centredness and its implications, and to what extent professional knowledge is based on intuition, understanding and learning. He considers the issue of competence versus knowledge and the effect of lifelong learning on the quality of practice.

Excerpt

This is an important and timely book. It deals with issues which in recent years have generated much heated argument; and it throws much needed new light on these issues. Those of us concerned with the study of professional work and with the education of professional workers have become accustomed to benefitting from Michael Eraut’s incisive scholarly thinking, through reading his articles published in journals. This Book offers us considerably more: it brings together his arguments on different topics and shows the connections among them; it substantially extends his previously published work; and it includes significant critiques of some influential theories of professional knowledge, education and work, such as that of Donald Schön.

On the first page of his introductory chapter, Eraut informs us that he will treat ‘professionalism’ as an ideology; and perhaps the most fundamental matter that this book helps us to consider is how to think about that ideology. Like all effective ideologies, the ideology of professionalism embodies appealing values, in this case those of service, trustworthiness, integrity, autonomy and reliable standards; it works in the interests of certain groups—those occupations recognized as professions—while winning the consent, most of the time, of others whose interests are less certainly served by it; and it is effective in so far as its representation of reality is accepted as obviously correct. It is the increasing lack of acceptance of the obvious correctness of the ideology of professionalism, partly but not entirely because of attacks from other ideologies such as that of ‘the market’, that presents us with a need, and an opportunity, to reappraise the idea of professionalism. For example, the undermining of the ideology of professionalism with regard to parent-teacher relationships over the last two decades has created a situation in which new thinking about the terms of collaboration between schools and families is much needed, but also more possible. Eraut’s discussion of professionalism provides us with some of the tools needed for such new thinking.

The two interacting most central theme of this book, however, concern on one hand the nature of professional knowledge, competence and expertise and, on the other, the development of these through professional education. The need for the kind of penetrating cross professional treatment here provided of the development of professional knowledge and expertise is very clear. International and cross-professional comparisons of professional education provision seem to show a widespread sense of crisis but no coherence or

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.