It has long been recognised that specialised knowledge is at the core of what distinguishes professions from other occupations. The privileged status of professions in most countries, however, together with their claims to autonomy and access to specialised knowledge, is being increasingly challenged both by market pressures and by new instruments of accountability and regulation. Established and emerging professions are increasingly seen as either the solution, or as sources of conservatism and resistance to change in western economies, and recent developments in professional education draw on a competence model which emphasises what newly qualified members of a profession ‘can do’ rather than what ‘they know’.
This book applies the disciplines of the sociology of knowledge and epistemology to the question of professional knowledge. What is this knowledge? It goes beyond traditional debates between ‘knowing how’ and ’knowing that’, and ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. The chapters cover a wide range of issues, from discussions of the threats to the knowledge base of established professions including engineers and architects, to the fraught situations faced by occupations whose fragile knowledge base and professional status is increasingly challenged by new forms of control. While recognising that graduates seeking employment as members of a profession need to show their capabilities, the book argues for reversing the trend that blurs or collapses the skill/knowledge distinction. If professions are to have a future then specialised knowledge is going to be more important than ever before.
Knowledge, Expertise and the Professions will be key reading for students, researchers and academics in the fields of professional expertise, further education, higher education, the sociology of education, and the sociology of the professions.
"Knowledge, Expertise and the Professions is a short volume but it packs a solid wallop. It pushes the social realist barrow, certainly, but it does so with solid arguments, a clearly articulated and defended conceptual framework and some exemplary explicatory analyses… It is a social constructivist take on how we might best go about ensuring tomorrow’s professionals are capable of acquiring and using expertise. It is a really good edited volume; demanding, challenging and deliberate, and one that deserves a wide readership." - Andrys Onsman, Centre for Studies of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Part 1: Introduction and Framing the Issues Outline of the Book Michael Young and Johan Muller. From the Sociology of Professions to the Sociology of Professional Knowledge Michael Young and Johan Muller. Professions Sacred and Profane: Reflections Upon the Changing Nature of Professionalism Gerald Grace Part 2: Knowledge, Judgment and Expertise: Theoretical Perspectives Abstract Rationality in Education: From Vygotsky to Brandom Jan Derry. Know-How and Knowledge in the Professional Curriculum Christopher Winch. Differentiating Forms of Professional Expertise Ben Kotzee. Professional Knowledge and Professional Practice as Continuous Recontextualisation: A Social Practice Perspective David Guile. What Binds Professional Judgment? The Case of Teaching Yael Shalem Part 3: Education and the Professions: Case Studies The Evolution of Engineering Knowledge Hu Hanrahan. On the Cultivation of Decorum: Development of the Pedagogic Discourse of Architecture in France, 1671 – 1968 Francis Carter. Problematising Curriculum: Contemporary Debates in Engineering Education Jennifer Case. Knowledge Matters in Nursing Martin McNamara and Gerard Fealy. Knowledge and Teacher Professionalism: The Case of Mathematics Teaching Nick Taylor.