About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6360 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0449

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: THE EVIDENCE-BASE OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

M. Mackay

University of Portsmouth Business School (UNITED KINGDOM)
Employees are expected to continually update their technical skills and knowledge to improve their capability and flexibility in a global market (Eraut 2004). A recent regulatory trend across occupational groups in the European Union is the use of standardised templates to record professional learning (Volles 2014). This study considers the impact of an evidence-base on practitioner experiences of mapping continuing development.

The notion of learning as self-directed growth is theoretically framed by Brown’s (2014) work on identity positioning. In uncertain labour markets, practitioners document evidence of learning advance to claim a professional self (Mackay 2015). But the pressure to fit measures of performance risks the commodification of learning (OECD, 2010). An emphasis on formal educational credits may narrow holistic understandings of lifelong learning (Boud & Hager 2012).

The research considers to what extent a portfolio template determines the scope, value and legitimacy of learning? Data was collected from two groups in professional practice, lawyers and human resource specialists, and a phenomenological method used focus group discussions to explore what counts as learning. The regulatory guidance and language about evidence records was compared between the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA 2015) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD 2012).

Findings suggest that organisational recognition of specific qualifications and training events influences the learning recorded. Power relations embedded in workplace contexts sometimes shape practitioners views of worthwhile knowledge. Participants tended to overlook informal activities, social interactions and personal reflections as meaningful evidence of learning. Consequently, professional development may be limited to formal, accredited programmes. But OECD (2010) research demonstrates that serendipitous learning often feeds longer-term knowledge and skills development to achieve excellence and innovation. To conclude, this study offers insights on the implicit boundaries that circumscribe developmental growth through a normative view of the evidence record. The challenge for educators is to ensure the value of serendipitous learning is fully acknowledged in professional development.

References:
[1] Boud, D., & Hager, P. (2012). Re-thinking continuing professional development through changing metaphors and location in professional practices, Studies in Continuing Education 34, no. 1: 17-30.
[2] Brown, A. (2014) Identity, and Identities Work in Organisations, International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 17 20-40.
[3] Chartered Institute of Personnel Development [CIPD] 2012 Code of Professional Conduct www.cipd.co.uk
[4] Eraut, M. (2004) Informal learning in the workplace, Studies in Continuing Education, 26 (2), 247-273.
[5] Mackay, M. (2015). Identity formation: professional development in practice strengthens a sense of self, Studies in Higher Education. Published online 24 Sept 2015
[6] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]. (2010), Recognising Non-formal and Informal Learning: Outcomes, Policies and Practices www.oecd.org/education/
[7] Solicitors Regulation Authority [SRA] New approach to Continuing Competence www.sra.org.uk/toolkit
[8] Volles, N. (2014). Lifelong learning in the EU: changing conceptualizations, actors and policies, Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2014.927852
@InProceedings{MACKAY2016SHO,
author = {Mackay, M.},
title = {SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: THE EVIDENCE-BASE OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0449},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0449},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6360}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Mackay
TI - SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: THE EVIDENCE-BASE OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0449
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6360
EP - 6360
ER -
M. Mackay (2016) SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: THE EVIDENCE-BASE OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 6360.
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