Professional ecplipse - achieving and maintaining mastery of multiple communities of practice

PANTER, Dean (2012). Professional ecplipse - achieving and maintaining mastery of multiple communities of practice. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This study investigates issues which arose out of concern and interest about how professional occupational practitioners experience the shift to becoming tutors of their former profession within the context of further education in the Republic of Ireland. More particularly, the research examines how this shift affects notions of professional identity, credibility and role legitimacy. This shift, or transition, is examined through the personal stories and experiences of a small group of six individuals currently experiencing this journey. A further level of interest is generated by changes in government education policy within the Republic of Ireland which aimed at reframing the focus of education back onto the student (student centred learning). This change in policy in turn impacted on the culture of the organisation by which the six tutors are employed, in terms of now seeing students as clients. In recent years there have been further shifts in the profile of the students, who are now more discerning and demanding; this raised questions about the personal and organisational preparation and development of tutors to meet these new demands, both pedagogical and subject-based. The concept of communities of practice (Lave and Wenger 1991) was used as a heuristic framework or lens through which to examine this transition, framed as moving from one community of practice into another whilst acknowledging the need to maintain membership of the former occupational community of practice. The key data source for this study is semi-structured interviews with six chef-tutors, all of whom formerly worked as occupational practitioners in industry. Additional documentation data was drawn on as the research evolved. The study draws attention to both the career trajectories and the personal and professional development paths of the tutors, from initial encounters with the occupational domain to their present day role of tutor. The research identifies that these tutors occupy a vulnerable position of static equilibrium between the two communities of practice and challenges the legitimacy of the use of the term “professional” with respect to either domain, professional chef or professional tutor. This phenomenon is conceptualised and articulated through a model termed the “Professional Eclipse”, within which time is shown to be an incremental influence to assuming this position. The topic of this research study is central to the debates around dual professionalism, communities of practice and notions of professional identity within further education.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 13:56
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2015 12:40

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