Professor Monika Bærøe Nerland (University of Oslo) - Epistemic shifts and transformations in professional expertise
Monika Bærøe Nerland, Professor of Education and leader for the research group ‘Expert cultures and institutional dynamics: Studies in higher education and work’ at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Education, is visiting the Science Studies Colloquium Series.
The Lecture is open for everyone!
Bærøe Nerland specializes in research on knowledge cultures and epistemic practices in professional education and work, with a particular interest in how ways of generating and sharing knowledge influence educational practices and development of expertise. Together with colleagues she has led and been involved in several projects that investigated these issues in different professions through a comparative approach.
Foto: Universitetet i Oslo
Epistemic shifts and transformations in professional expertise
Professional expertise is a complex phenomenon, resting on different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing that must become integrated in the performance of work. At the same time, knowledge as well as what counts as skillful practice is increasingly contested. In the face of emergent and complex problems in society many professions are concerned with developing their collective knowledge and practice. These efforts are imbued with tensions and entangled with wider knowledge dynamics encompassing the spheres of science, professional work, and formal professional education.
This talk combines perspectives from Social Studies of Science and educational research to discuss how epistemic shifts in professional fields as well as in society at large lead to transformations in professional expertise. The increased emphasis on scientific knowledge in many areas of work as well as the parallel expectations of relevance and user-orientation intensify tensions between different forms of knowledge and expertise. Moreover, the pace of knowledge production and its rapid global distribution create a multitude of contributions and advice that may or may not support each other, thus calling for continuous consideration of what, at any time, counts as expert knowledge. To better understand these dynamics a reconceptualization of how knowledge relations between education, scientific knowledge production and work emerge within the frame of expert cultures is needed, providing an alternative to the mainstream understanding of these arenas as disconnected spheres in organizational life. Examples are drawn from recent research projects that investigated knowledge relations and learning within the areas of law, engineering, teaching and health.