New conceptions of ‘expertise’ in professional education
Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Recent work within the sociology of scientific knowledge suggests a growing interest in the nature of ‘expertise’. Whilst not in itself an educational theory, Collins and Evans’s new analysis of expertise (in their ‘periodic table’ of expertises) holds interesting possibilities for understanding the nature of work-based learning. Set against the background of a growing reaction against the dominant ‘reflective practice approach’ to work-based learning, the question is asked what a better understanding of the nature of expertise can contribute to the field. Collins and Evans’s model is criticised and revised to account also for the development of expertise and their notions of ‘interactional expertise’ and ‘meta-expertise’ are used to explain the expertise of the workbased learning academic.