Professional Education, Capabilities and the Public Good : The role of universities in promoting human development book cover
1st Edition

Professional Education, Capabilities and the Public Good
The role of universities in promoting human development

ISBN 9780415604710
Published September 4, 2013 by Routledge
224 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book innovatively explores how universities might be engines of reform and be directed towards social change. Using rich case studies drawn from South African research, the book comprehensively provides a myriad of new perspectives on what constitutes a set of appropriate public-good professional capabilities that will translate successfully into contributions to human development. It challenges universities to produce professionals who have the knowledge, skills and values to improve the lives of people living in poverty in urban and rural settings. It covers issues such as:


    • Conceptualising Public-Good Professionalism
    • Global Issues and Professional Education
    • South African Debates about Higher Education
    • Institutional conditions and professional education arrangements
    • Social Constraints on educating ethically aware public professionals


By drawing on an approach that focuses on differing public-good professional capabilities in five professions, this book produces a crucial new framework for the preparation of professionals relevant to the global study of higher education policy. It expands higher education’s contribution to global social justice beyond a concern with human capital, administering a challenge to higher education internationally to address human development in the 21st century.

This book will be of great interest to all scholars of higher education involved in higher education studies, comparative education, and development studies. It will also prove valuable to policy makers, higher education leaders and lecturers and graduate professionals in diverse organizations.

Table of Contents

Part I Higher Education, The Public Good and Professionals  1. Higher Education in a Global Context: Working for the public good  2. Capabilities-Based Public-Good Professionalism  Part II Context, Theoretical Framing and Methodology  3. History, Inequalities and Context: South African universities  4. Professional Capabilities, Educational Arrangements and Social Conditions: A new research design  5. Dialogic Stages of Public-Good Professional Capabilities Index  Part III Applying a Public-Good Professional Capabilities Education Index  6. Participants’ Conceptions of Professional Work in South Africa  7. Pedagogical Environments for the Production of Public-Good Professionals  8. Universities and Social Conditions: Constraints on public-good professionalism in South Africa  9. Public-Good Pathways to Poverty Reduction

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Melanie Walker is Senior Research Professor in the Research Institute for Higher Education and Human Development at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Formerly Professor of Higher Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Monica McLean is Professor of Education in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK.