Norwegian version

Professional Knowledge, Qualifying for Professions and Coping with the Tasks of Professional Life

Professions are commonly referred to as knowledge-based occupations. This research group distinguishes three fields within the study of professions.

The group belongs to the Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS). We distinguish three fields within the study of professions: professional knowledge, qualifying for professions, and coping with the tasks of the professional working life. Even though these themes may be analytically separated, they are also strongly interconnected.

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    • More about the Research

      Professional Knowledge

      Professionals need not only knowledge to understand and explain the challenges and tasks they encounter (“knowing that”) but also the skills necessary to face these challenges and to carry out these tasks (“knowing how”). The relationship between theory and practice in education and working life affects the core of all vocationally oriented education programmes. This theme invites theoretical and empirical explorations.

      Qualifying for Professions

      Qualifying for professions encompasses learning in educational as well as vocational institutions. This field of study deals partly with the content and the form of education and partly with the relative role of education in the broader process of qualification. The first part is about the content and the organisation of both the theoretical and practical training as well as the interplay between these learning processes in education. The second part addresses, amongst other things, the conception of newly educated professionals as “ready to use products” and the role of working life in the qualifying process.

      Coping With the Tasks of Professional Life

      The general aim of this field of study is to explore factors that may lead to increased levels of mastery and professional development as well as factors that may lead to strain and burnout. Coping can be defined as a continuous process of cognitive, behavioural and emotional adaptations and efforts to manage challenging situations. On a more concrete level, it is important to make a distinction between strain, burnout and psychological distress on one hand, and the quality of professional work on the other hand.