|Guest Lecture Dr Monika Nerland|
|Monday, 27 November 2006|
DR MONIKA NERLAND'S GUEST LEID LECTURE
VISITING FELLOW FROM UNIVERSITY OF OSLO, NORWAY
KNOWLEDGE CULTURES AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE LEARNING PROFESSIONAL
28th NOVEMBER, 5pm-7pm, in COMMITTEE ROOM 1 (level 4)
This lecture draws upon the research project Professional learning in a changing society (ProLearn), which investigates learning in the transition from education to work among nurses, teachers, accountants and computer engineers in Norway. The current lecture examines the ways in which professional knowledge cultures – that is, the ways in which knowledge is produced, accumulated, distributed and collectively approached – serve to construct the learning professional in specific ways. Using the Foucauldian notion of power/knowledge and the concept of “epistemic cultures” (Knorr Cetina, 1999) as points of departure, the professional domains of teaching and computer engineering in Norway are explored as to what it means to engage in learning and how the learning activities are shaped within the different domains.
The two cases illustrate profound differences in ways of organizing knowledge and patterning learning and identity construction. The knowledge culture of the teaching profession stresses the need of differentiation in the way the professional work is performed, whereas the culture of computer engineering advocates the need of standardization and consistency.
In the teaching profession knowledge tends to be mediated in personal interaction and enacted by the individual teacher with concern for the current needs of the student. In computer engineering knowledge is typically mediated through a range of artifacts and collectively shared objects, making workplace learning a matter of identifying and applying apt standards and patterns of “best practice” in short-term sequences of problem solving.
Consequently, whereas professional development in the teaching profession largely is constructed as forms of experiential learning, the access to and utilization of codified and universal knowledge is given emphasis in computer engineering.
The lecture discusses the implications of the different constructions for individuals and professional communities alike, and provides an opportunity to compare experiences between Norway and UK as regards these professions in particular and the relationship of knowledge cultures to professional learning in general.
All welcome. Refreshments are provided.
tel: 020 7612 6628