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Developing the professional curriculum: looking
both ways with practice knowledge and theory
Dr. Richard Pountney
1
Social...
Outline
1. Review the curricular and pedagogic development of
professional courses and the importance of the
professional ...
The sociology of professional
knowledge
• ‘The construction of the inner was a guarantee of
the construction of the outer....
Regions, singulars and fields of practice
• Singulars: which represent knowledge relations (or
structures) oriented to inw...
Recontextualising professional knowledge
5
Trish Gibbon, 2014
Reproduction of (professional)
knowledge in the curriculum
Higher education providers [should] have in place
effective pro...
PRODUCT PROCESS
INDIVIDUALISED INTERACTIONAL
TRADITIONAL EMERGING
SOCIAL PRACTICE
INTENDED LIVED
HIDDEN OPEN
Curriculum as...
Employability and its effects in the
curriculum
• Sustained policy steer (Robbins Report, 1963; Dearing
Report, 1997; Leit...
Employability knowledge in the
curriculum
SHU Education for Employment Strategy
• Objective 1: ensure that all students ac...
Semantic Plane
Semantic gravity – the degree to which meaning is dependent on context
Semantic density – the degree to whi...
11
Course
Team
Cou.rse Title
Level
Objective 1:
accredited work-
related/work-based
learning
Objective 2:
development of
t...
12[1] The professional Practice and Placement module was mandatory for Housing students and elective for the other awards ...
Cathy’s story: the ‘reversible coat’
• Longstanding extra-curricular activity to help students
prepare for interviews and ...
Semantic profiles
A – high semantic flatline (theoretical and abstract)
B – low semantic flatline (practical and simple)
C...
Experiential learning
(Maton, 2014)15
A curriculum for professional learning
16
TELIC Stories and
Accounts of Practice (TELIC Research Journal)
17
Ways of deepening learning
Increasing the semantic threshold iteratively by strengthening and deepening
learning through t...
‘Powerful knowledge’ as giving learners access to contexts beyond their experience in order
that cumulative knowledge buil...
Conclusion
• If we pay attention to the semantic structure
of knowledge we can help students cope with
difficult concepts
...
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Developing the professional curriculum: looking both ways with practice knowledge and theory

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Dr. Richard Pountney's presentation to reseacrh seminar, Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University.
2 July 2015

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Developing the professional curriculum: looking both ways with practice knowledge and theory

  1. 1. Developing the professional curriculum: looking both ways with practice knowledge and theory Dr. Richard Pountney 1 Social Realism Symposium 2nd July 2015
  2. 2. Outline 1. Review the curricular and pedagogic development of professional courses and the importance of the professional context 2. Identify issues associated with the role, effects and implications of work-related learning in education 3. Examine the formation of specialist knowledge and expertise and a reflection on the ‘know-how’ and ‘know-what’ in professional contexts 4. Reflect on the need for knowledge building in professional /vocational fields and how to investigate it 2
  3. 3. The sociology of professional knowledge • ‘The construction of the inner was a guarantee of the construction of the outer. In this we find the origin of the professions’ (Bernstein, 2000: 85) • Professional knowledge is both ‘theoretical’ (general and unvarying) and practical (purposive and contextual) • About doing things but doing things in complex ways that cannot rely on experience alone (Young and Muller, 2014) • Professional practice is always in a context, with a purpose and relates to specific occupations 3
  4. 4. Regions, singulars and fields of practice • Singulars: which represent knowledge relations (or structures) oriented to inwardness – the rules, methods and boundaries that define a discipline (e.g. Sociology or physiology) • Regions: which combine disciplines, selecting, pacing and sequencing knowledge in relation to specific purposes (e.g. Knowledge of muscles in physiotherapy) • Fields of Practice: the specialised practical contexts in which professionals practice – exercise knowledgeable and reasoned judgements as professionals, by drawing on, often tacitly, their acquired stock of specialised professional knowledge 4
  5. 5. Recontextualising professional knowledge 5 Trish Gibbon, 2014
  6. 6. Reproduction of (professional) knowledge in the curriculum Higher education providers [should] have in place effective processes to approve and periodically review the validity and relevance of programmes (QAA, 2011) Why is it assumed that when we are ‘given’ a course to teach that we know how to write a course outline? Where is it that we ‘learn’ how to do this important piece of pedagogy? What underpins this process? (Millen, 1997: 11) 6
  7. 7. PRODUCT PROCESS INDIVIDUALISED INTERACTIONAL TRADITIONAL EMERGING SOCIAL PRACTICE INTENDED LIVED HIDDEN OPEN Curriculum as an idea in practice Curriculum influences Organising principles PEDAGOGIC ACADEMIC IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT CULTURE SOCIALISATION QUALITY DISCIPLINE PLANNING / DESIGN COLLABORATION ASSESSMENT STUDENTS EMPLOYABILITY The emergence of employability Contextual Conceptual COHERENCE 7
  8. 8. Employability and its effects in the curriculum • Sustained policy steer (Robbins Report, 1963; Dearing Report, 1997; Leitch Report, 2005). • Instrumental in curriculum policy (Nixon et al., 2008; Lester and Costly, 2010; Smith, 2012) • Work-related learning associated with the development of ‘skilful practices in context’ in which academic and work-related achievements are situated in particular contexts (Yorke, 2011: 120) and ‘vocational expertise’ (Billett, 2001). • requiring a ‘paradigm shift’ in assessment (Gibbs, 2007) to articulate generic statements of learning outcomes to phenomena that are ‘context- dependence, situated or, uncertain and volatile’ (Sadler, 2002: 49). 8
  9. 9. Employability knowledge in the curriculum SHU Education for Employment Strategy • Objective 1: ensure that all students actively engage with well structured, supported and accredited work- related or work-based learning.; • Objective 2: embed high-level employability-related transferable ‘skills’ and attributes within the curriculum; • Objective 3: provide all students at all levels with access to integrated and timetabled career management skills.; • Objective 4: provide all students at all levels with access to personal development planning (PDP) to support their transition to the world of work 9
  10. 10. Semantic Plane Semantic gravity – the degree to which meaning is dependent on context Semantic density – the degree to which meanings are condensed within practices (Maton, 2011; Shay, 2013) 10
  11. 11. 11 Course Team Cou.rse Title Level Objective 1: accredited work- related/work-based learning Objective 2: development of transferable skills Objective 3: access to career management skills Objective 4: personal development planning Q2: Practical knowledge; practical curricula C9 Performing Arts FD Skill for the Workplace; Professional Roles and Practice; and Performing Arts in Practice modules. addressed through subject-specific knowledge Implicit use of institution’s Careers Service Embedded in Practitioner Skills (I and II) and Performing Arts in Practice. Modules. Q3: Professional/practice knowledge; professional/vocational curricula C10 Built Environment U G 36 week placement year between levels 5 and 6. Generic skills listed in programme and module LOs; Professional skills addressed in specific modules for Real Estate, Construction, Surveying etc.) Timetabled programme of activities focussing on career management skills around the placement taking place between levels 5 and 6 Integrated in modules. Implicit reflection on work and context for autonomous learners Q4: Theoretical knowledge; applied theory curricula C8 Applied Social Science U G A choice of 3 modules: Work and Professional Development module (10 credits level 5) and elective 30-credit project-management module or a 50-credit work placement module Generic skills listed in programme and module LOs; Study skills module Implicit use of institution’s Careers Service. Professional development modules at levels 5 and 6 Module tutor is academic tutor with specific PDP tasks in level 4 Study Skills modules, and Professional Development modules at levels 5 and 6
  12. 12. 12[1] The professional Practice and Placement module was mandatory for Housing students and elective for the other awards in CPT2 Module Course Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes Assessment Criteria Preparing for the world of Work (10 credits) Elective Criminology Level 5 Reflection (2000 words) Identify employability skills and practices Ability to recognise relevant skills and practices necessary to enhance employability Explain the transferability of skills across a range of different work environments Ability to consider different ways that key skills and practices can be utilised across a range of settings Reflect upon their own learning processes within a work related setting An evaluation of their learning and reflective practice Professional Practice and Placement (20 credits) Mandatory / elective Geography, Environment Planning and Housing Level 5 Performance Appraisal (25%, 1000 words); Reflective Report (75%, 3000 words) Identify complex problems in real- life situations, and select and apply appropriate techniques and behaviours to solve these problems. Appropriateness of approaches, practice, techniques and behaviour employed in various workplace situations Identify objectives and personal responsibilities when working with others, and collaborate effectively in teams. Self management skills applied in a professional teamwork context. Reflect on and analyse the values and ethics relating to professional practice in the relevant sector. Knowledge and understanding of 'values and ethics' and analysis of their role and impact in professional practice. Reflect on and evaluate their own performance, and plan actions relating to their own continuing professional development needs. Evidence of reflective practice skills, (including reflection, analysis, insight, planning)
  13. 13. Cathy’s story: the ‘reversible coat’ • Longstanding extra-curricular activity to help students prepare for interviews and write CV • Curricularised into a module for all: • ‘Suddenly it was part of a module that was on their timetable and so attendance improved and you were able to get students to actually engage with it much more seriously’ • ‘A lot of students will see that and think ‘I know how to organise myself’ • ‘they give less importance to the developing of these skills than to something with really hard content like Housing Law or Finance’ 13
  14. 14. Semantic profiles A – high semantic flatline (theoretical and abstract) B – low semantic flatline (practical and simple) C – semantic wave (weakening and strengthening of context and density and a larger semantic range) (Maton, 2014)14
  15. 15. Experiential learning (Maton, 2014)15
  16. 16. A curriculum for professional learning 16 TELIC Stories and Accounts of Practice (TELIC Research Journal)
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. Ways of deepening learning Increasing the semantic threshold iteratively by strengthening and deepening learning through the increase in conceptual links 18
  19. 19. ‘Powerful knowledge’ as giving learners access to contexts beyond their experience in order that cumulative knowledge building can take place. 19
  20. 20. Conclusion • If we pay attention to the semantic structure of knowledge we can help students cope with difficult concepts • This acknowledges that powerful knowledge enables learners to go beyond their contexts • It enables learners to develop knowledge literacy (the specialised language of the profession and the subject) in order that they can be more effective learners. 20

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