Theory and Practice within HE Professional Education Courses: Integration of Academic Knowledge and Experiential Knowledge .

This source preferred by Lynne Rutter

Authors: Rutter, L.

Start date: 6 April 2009

Publisher: Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education

ISSN: 1759-667X

If we look historically at professional education we can see a movement from what Bines and Watson (1992) call a ‘technocratic’ (or technical-rational) model to what they call a ‘post-technocratic’model - one primarily concerned with professional knowledge and action/process rather than academic knowledge and content. Emphasis is placed on professional development, a practitioner’s theories-in-use, knowledge for practice, and on the skills required to use reflection, observation, analysis and evaluation to develop practice. Particular methods of learning and teaching concerned with enquiry, analysis, experience and reflection are advocated. If this model is fully embraced, the type of learning involved (especially when undertaken by qualified workers) is quite different from that of a more traditional, discipline-based, technocratic model. Firstly, it encompasses different ways of knowing, i.e. more subjective, reflexive, and implicit practice-based understanding. Secondly, it can also produce a different type of knowledge in the form of practice theory. The associated learning processes tend to be interpretive and inductive (Nixon and Murr 2006) and can form a more integrative relationship between practice knowledge and theory that encompasses ‘being’ and a personal ethical stance (Margetson 2000; Tynjala et al 2003).

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