This question relates to a discussion of the concept of professionalism arising from the contested nature of the professions, professional knowledge and the relation of theory to practice. Also involved are the issues arising from the ethical implications and notions of professional accountability…
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in the essay(Psarras 2006) . This paper aims to explore the changing notions of all these concepts and explores both sides of the debate engulfing the issues arising for the education of professionals in the changing times.
Today professionals from all walks of life whether they are nurses, business executives legal and medical practitioners all seem to be queuing up in the light of increasingly popular "professional courses" for further specializations or seminars in the face of intense competition in their fields based on the recent regulations in this area (Psarras 2006). This trend has been prevalent since the decade of the eighties where as according to Cooke and Cooke (1998) there has been growth of what is called "learner centred knowledge and action learning, a growing significance of work-related learning and the recognition of work and work experience as a key source of learning" (Psarras 2006 citing Cooke and Cooke 1998).Finally the advent of information technology has made the need to revolutionise professional teaching and learning methodologies more than ever(Cooke and Cooke 1998).
. In this paper, I examine the extent to which professional updating is actually necessary or whether some forms of professional development essentially ignores the values of ethics of professionalism that have become appended to the issue of professional and continuing professional education. As Larson argues modern professional education has come a long way as the word "Professional" has attained its own baggage of simple and undeniable face saving requirements (Larson, 1977).
According to Hall [(1968) as cited by Fertig (2003)], professionalism can be associated with the performance of the professional in his or her most individual capacity. Hall (1968) identified the role of the professional academic as embodying a belief in serving the public and a sense of autonomy and commitment towards his or her respective profession. This view is also shared by Engel (1970) who regarded professionalism amongst academics as focussing on individuality in the actions and the decision making process. Exworthy & Halford (1999) have stressed the impact of tighter accountability control within Higher Education particularly for the professionals within the HE sector in order to achieve efficiency [as cited by Fertig (2003)]. In this vein this paper explores how this has affected the concept of professionalism in Higher Education.
The Changing Meaning of Professionals and Professionalism
It is true to a large extent that the modern notions of professionals and professionalism have changed considerably due to the changing notions of these concepts over time. As stated in Fertig (2003), Robson (1998) and Harper (2000) share the view that there is a pronounced trend of professional management within the Higher Education sector in England where a distinction can be drawn with in
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