Cause for concern? The value of practical knowledge in professional education
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMæhre, K. S., Hvidsten, B. I. B., & Halås, C. T. (2023). Cause for concern? The value of practical knowledge in professional education. Policy Futures in Education. doi: 10.1177/14782103231184653
The aim of this paper is to explore how practical knowledge can enhance higher education and Bildung for the human service professions. The paper sheds light on how governance reforms such as New Public Management have influenced higher education, where we argue that scientific rationality has weakened the professional’s autonomy and responsibility. The paper is based on the three authors’ experiences as university teachers and researchers from three different fields, namely, nursing, social work, and special education. By using Foucault’s theory of the panoptic gaze, the analysis shows what is at stake in professional practice, education, and research and introduces perspectives from practical knowledge as a more functional understanding, highlighting 1) that subjective experiences are not being legitimized, 2) the inherent knowledge of practice, and 3) evidence and valid knowledge.