Professional Practice and Learning

Times, Spaces, Bodies, Things

  • Nick Hopwood

Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 15)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Professional, Theoretical, and Empirical Foundations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Nick Hopwood
      Pages 3-16
    3. Nick Hopwood
      Pages 117-136
  3. Four Dimensions of Professional Practices and Learning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Nick Hopwood
      Pages 139-165
    3. Nick Hopwood
      Pages 167-207
    4. Nick Hopwood
      Pages 209-240
    5. Nick Hopwood
      Pages 241-265
  4. Professional Learning, Partnership and Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 267-267
    2. Nick Hopwood
      Pages 345-362
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 363-372

About this book


This book explores important questions about the relationship between professional practice and learning, and implications of this for how we understand professional expertise. Focusing on work accomplished through partnerships between practitioners and parents with young children, the book explores how connectedness in action is a fluid, evolving accomplishment, with four essential dimensions: times, spaces, bodies, and things. Within a broader sociomaterial perspective, the analysis draws on practice theory and philosophy, bringing different schools of thought into productive contact, including the work of Schatzki, Gherardi, and recent developments in cultural historical activity theory. The book takes a bold view, suggesting practices and learning are entwined but distinctive phenomena. A clear and novel framework is developed, based on this idea. The argument goes further by demonstrating how new, coproductive relationships between professionals and clients can intensify the pedagogic nature of professional work, and showing how professionals can support others’ learning when the knowledge they are working with, and sense of what is to be learned, are uncertain, incomplete, and fragile.

“Meticulously researched and at once measured and authoritative, this constitutes an important and innovative contribution to the field. Based on an in-depth ethnographic study, it develops a rich account of practice in action and context, and provides new insight into professional learning and its associated pedagogies. Highly recommended.”

Professor Bill Green, Charles Sturt University (Australia)

“This book forms a significant contribution to our understanding of professional practice and learning. It brings together recent sociomaterial approaches, and adds to these in important ways. I strongly recommend this book for scholars and practitioners who take interest in professional work and learning, and in sociomaterial approaches to practice more generally.”
Professor Monika Nerland, University of Oslo (Norway)

“This book contributes a distinctive approach to researching workplace learning, specifically learning in professional practice. The ethnographic research that is presented imbues practices, knowledge work and pedagogy with suspense and uncertainty. Hopwood’s style of presentation is both rich and rewarding. This is a book to surprise you and it will.”

Professor Silvia Gherardi, University of Trento (Italy)

“This splendid book offers many insights that will be appreciated by a wide range of readers. Hopwood proposes his own thought-provoking framework for understanding the relationships between professional practice and learning. The fruitfulness of Hopwood’s framework is demonstrated in analysis of empirical material derived from a major ethnographic study. Overall, this book is an impressive achievement.”
Emeritus Professor Paul Hager, University of Technology Sydney (Australia)


Karitane adult learning body geometries collective choreography family health service health workforce micro-practices non-knowledge practices of coproduction professional learning professional practice workplace learning practice theory social resilience

Authors and affiliations

  • Nick Hopwood
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-26162-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-26164-5
  • Series Print ISSN 2210-5549
  • Series Online ISSN 2210-5557
  • Buy this book on publisher's site