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Professional learning throughout the career

Kitty Kwakman

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2003, vol. 3, issue 2, 180-190

Abstract: This paper provides a theoretical review of the concept of "professional learning", and presents the contention that the very nature of professional work has a profound impact on the learning process of professionals who perform such work. As professionals are expected to learn continuously throughout their career, the main focus in this paper will be on the learning that takes place within the professional practice itself, since this learning is seen as central to the process of lifelong continuous professional development. Taking several different theories concerning professional practice as a starting point, it will be shown that professional learning serves three different types of goals innovative, professional and individual goals. As professional learning directed at these goals preferably takes place through reflection and interaction, the workplace is proposed to be the most appropriate setting for this learning. Consequently, if we consider professional learning to be a joint responsibility between professionals and the organisations that employ them, organisations would be well advised to enhance professional learning by taking measures to promote opportunities for reflection and interaction within the workplace.

Keywords: professionals; professional learning; professional development; professional work; workplace learning; learning conditions; learning opportunities. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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