One of the most important routes to employment within the social welfare sector worldwide is higher education, which equips students not only with the knowledge for employment, but with the tools to use and build on this knowledge. During the last few decades there has been an academic drift in professional education, especially for many shorter professional programmes. Many of these shorter programmes have left the realm of vocational education to enter higher education. On the one hand, graduates are confronted by an increased demand for research and evidence-based knowledge, and on the other, they are criticised for lacking the knowledge and skills relevant for professional work.
From Vocational to Professional Education presents new research into programmes suggesting how best to prepare students for professional work and addresses the challenges facing the education of professionals for social welfare. The book identifies and clarifies key problems, as well as outlining the political and historical context in which they are embedded. Chapters discuss theoretical and analytical ways to address these challenges and suggest recommendations for the further development of education for professional practice.
Based on comprehensive longitudinal research data, the book will appeal to policy makers, leaders of higher education, and teachers and researchers involved in programmes qualifying students for professional work.
1. Introduction 2. Academic drift in vocational education? 3. Tensions between academic and vocational demands 4. Insights into teacher education from cross-field studies of professional preparation 5. Coherence: A longitudinal approach 6. Multiple bridges between theory and practice 7. Research-based education in undergraduate professional programmes 8. Professionalism and evidence-based practice 9. Using dialogical pedagogies to cope with fragmentation in nursing education 10. The practice turn: Research-informed clinical teacher education in two countries 11. Concluding remarks