The landscape of professional work is being transformed in multiple ways by forces which are affecting the world of work in general: changes in regulatory frameworks; those brought about by technological innovation; changes in the way work is divided up between the public, private and third sectors, between organisations in the same sector, and professional workers in the same organisation. Ideas such as the co-production of services, grounded in the ideology of empowerment, have led to an increase in ‘consumer work’ that previously formed a part of professional roles. The impact of austerity and New Public Management means that these processes of change will be accentuated rather than mitigated in the future, particularly for public service professionals in fields such as education, child care and health. The implications for the idea of professionalism, and the way in which professionals learn at work are profound. This international seminar is designed to develop a conversation between theorists who map professional change on the one hand, and those who conceptualise the processes of professional learning on the other, in the expectation that the dialogue can speak powerfully to higher education’s role in preparing professionals for the world that will confront them.
Monday 13 July 13:30 - 17:30 (Registration and lunch at 1pm)
Pete Sanderson from SEPD will introduce the conversation, then Mike Saks will identify key changes in the landscape of the professions, and Leesa Wheelahan will explore issues around the relationship between higher vocational qualifications and labour markets. An open workshop session will allow participants to reflect on the implications for their own area of professional education.
Tuesday 14 July 09:15 - 13:15
David Guile, Miriam Zukas and Nick Hopwood will provide accounts of their empirical explorations of issues surrounding professional learning in and out of the workplace. An open forum will allow Early Career Researchers from the university to present their recent research on change on the professions and professional learning.
David Guile is Professor of Education and Work at University College, London.David’s research interests encompass social theory about knowledge economy/culture/society, and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory about knowledge, learning and pedagogy. He uses these interdisciplinary interests to research different aspects of professional, vocational and workplace learning (PVWL).
Dr Nick Hopwood is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Technology Sydney, where he has been since 2010. Prior to that he was at the University of Oxford. His research has explored a number of aspects of professional practice, learning and education, mainly through cultural historical and sociomaterial approaches. He has published on issues of coproduction and reform in the context of partnerships between professionals and service users. Nick has explored how such changing relational bases for practice raise important questions about responsibility and accountability, and the nature of professional expertise.
Professor Mike Saks is Research Professor in Health Policy at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) and Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln and the University of Toronto, Canada. He has also recently held a Visiting Chair in Sociology at the University of Essex. He is the current Vice President of the Research Committee on the Sociology of Professional Groups of the International Sociological Association, having previously served a four year term as President.
Leesa Wheelahan is the William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership at the Ontario Institute of Studies for Education of the University of Toronto.She is widely known for her work on student equity, lifelong learning, qualifications frameworks, relationships between the vocational education and training and higher education sectors,
Professor Miriam Zukas is Executive Dean, School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy and Professor of Adult Education at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her recent research interests include; professional workplace pedagogies; doctors' learning in transition; professional learning in transitions; adult higher education.
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School of Education and Professional Development
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