Viable Knowledge: Practice Led Learning

  • Lyn KarstadtEmail author


Higher Education in the development of future professionals requires consideration of the types of knowledge on which professional practice is predicated and the art of communicating that knowledge to the next generation of professionals. Although not all students will have a practical application to their university studies this chapter concentrates on those that do. It is therefore pertinent to a range of professionals, the continuum spanning accountants and architects through nurses and midwives to technical engineers and veterinarians. Each of these groups and many more, have a unique body of knowledge with a direct application to their particular professional behaviour. Knowledge consists of pieces of information that are explicitly stored in the brain and are constructed by individual scholars to support their experiences or practice, and by association the complex decision making that may be required in that context. The construction of such knowledge is therefore of paramount consideration to all educators within the context of Higher Education. Viable Knowledge is a concept that addresses the use of such information or knowledge as a unique and personal way of thinking that supports individual experience. This chapter is written in the context of Nurse Education and sets out to consider the particular experience of a student nurse. It addresses the unique experience of a student within this particular discipline and how the theoretical component of the program can best support the practical application necessary for professional practice. The different types of knowledge within the curriculum are appraised and a theoretical model supporting the inter-relationship between theory and practice constructed. Finally, an example of how this has been applied to the delivery of a nursing program will be considered, along with the general implications for practice within Higher Education.


Viable knowledge Nurse Education Professional practice Transformational learning 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Murdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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