Building the Foundations of Professional Expertise: creating a dialectic between work and formal learning

Fenton-O’Creevy, Mark and Hutchinson, Steven (2010) Building the Foundations of Professional Expertise: creating a dialectic between work and formal learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (4-1). pp. 69-92. ISSN 1742-240X

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Abstract

Recent critiques of management and teacher education curricula and teaching pay particular attention to the disconnection between the de-contextualised, formal knowledge and analytical techniques conveyed in university programmes and the messy, ill-structured nature of practice. At the same time, research into professional expertise suggests that its development requires bringing together different forms of knowledge and the integration of formal and nonformal learning with the development of cognitive flexibility. Such complex learning outcomes are unlikely to be achieved through a ‘knowledge transmission’ approach to curriculum design. In this article we argue that in many ways current higher education practices create barriers to developing ways of knowing which can underpin the formation of expertise. Using examples from two practice-focused distance learning courses, we explore the role of distance learning in enabling a dialogue between academic and workplace learning and the use of ‘practice dialogues’ among course participants to enable integration of learning experiences. Finally, we argue that we need to find ways in higher education of enabling students to engage in relevant communities of expertise, rather than drawing them principally into a community of academic discourse which is not well aligned with practice.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LATHE) was published by the University of Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2011. LATHE was edited by Phil Gravestock and Michele Hills. Publication has ceased, the final issue was issue No.5
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Professional Services > Academic Development Unit
Research Priority Areas: Learning and Professional Contexts
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2016 13:43
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2017 04:58
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3881

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