Professor Monika Bærøe Nerland
Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway
Monika Nerland’s research interests relate to knowledge cultures and learning in professional education and work as well as in the field of higher education. A particular interest is the ways in which organization of knowledge in expert communities constitute practices of learning and identity formation. She is the current leader of the research group Expert cultures and institutional dynamics: Studies in higher education and work (ExCID) at the Faculty of Educational Sciences.
Contemporary knowledge dynamics and shifting demands to professional expertise
Professional expertise typically rest on different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing that must become integrated and applicable in different work contexts. Whilst this is complex enough, such expertise is increasingly contested. The general emphasis on scientific knowledge and the parallel expectations of relevance and user-orientation generate tensions between different forms of knowledge. Moreover, the pace of knowledge production and its global distribution create a multitude of contributions and advice that may or may not support each other. As a consequence the education and learning of professionals is widely debated in policy as well as in educational practice. Against this background an important mission for educational research is to generate a better understanding of how professional education and learning are embedded in local and extended knowledge dynamics, as well as of how these intersect. This talk employs perspectives from social studies of science and professions to discuss how the knowledge dynamics that serve professional expertise are getting more complex, comprising a range of knowledge-producing actors and interests which generate tensions in educational contexts. Examples are given from recent studies in different professional programs, and possible implications for the development of teacher education are considered.