9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN19 Sociology of Professions

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 Professional Knowledge and Learning Building I, Auditório 2

Professional learning trajectories

Professional learning trajectories
The rapid shifts in knowledge and institutional arrangements in contemporary society call upon individuals and communities to engage in never-ending processes of learning and re-learning. Although these developments have been widely discussed at a policy level, less attention has been paid to investigating how they manifest themselves within different groups and settings. Professions face challenges in transforming their domain of expertise into the complex demands of the knowledge society. At the same time their interrelated traditions, tools and working conditions produce opportunities as well as hindrances for learning and knowledge development. The traditional view of the key role of professional education may be challenged by the complexity of qualification arenas and trajectories. Has the close link between professional education and work become blurred even in field where the link traditionally has been very strong? What are the patterns that characterises learning trajectories into and out of the professions respectively?

The present paper examines the characteristics of professional learning focusing on teachers and nurses in a longitudinal perspective including educational and work experience before they enrol; initial education as well as the first six years in professional work. Data are drawn from a longitudinal Database for studies of Recruitment and Qualifications in the Professions in Norway (StudData). Many students have experience from higher education as well as relevant work before they enrol. To what extent do such experiences have an impact on their educational strategy and outcome? Moreover, what are the relationships between qualification strategies and outcome in higher education and workplace learning and further education? Are there any relationships between learning trajectories and professional commitment?