There is an oft-repeated conviction that higher education has the potential to act as engine for social mobility, opening up opportunities for a diverse student body for valuable, meaningful employment and thereby addressing societal inequalities.
Educating for the professions is an important aspect of this broader task of higher education. However, there is much we do not yet understand about the process of developing students from school-leavers to fledgling professionals.
The paper gives insight into a longitudinal study (in part funded by CGHE) that attempts to gain an understanding of the way students develop identities as neophyte discipline specialists.
Dr Smit’s particular interest is an argument that this shaping of identity is, at least in part, the result of students’ interaction with discipline-specific knowledge as they negotiate their way through the curriculum.
The study is at an early stage, and the paper will report on some preliminary findings, and provide a conceptual framework for thinking about the nature of professional knowledge, and its potential influence on identity-formation.
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