What’s the Use of Higher Education?

  • Anna Reid
  • Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren
  • Peter Petocz
  • Lars Owe Dahlgren
Part of the Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education book series (PROD, volume 99)


The question in the title should not be interpreted as a doubt about the usefulness of higher education but rather to encourage the kinds of investigations that the book is presenting and scrutinising. The formation of professionals, the path from expert students to novice professionals , requires creative pedagogical approaches. Each profession values different skills and knowledge , has a particular approach to knowledge development and use, an associated way of behaving, and corresponding pedagogies. Our book has shown ways of understanding this process within different professional areas with the idea of assisting students and teachers to decode that profession for the purposes of their own learning . The learning of such professional attributes need not be solely located in the academy, but could be collocated with workplaces, through the approach of interprofessional learning , the involvement of professionals with pedagogy, the involvement of students in work situations, and the alignment of learning with authentic work practices. But in the centre of all this are the expert students and novice professionals. For them the focus is not on what they know, but on who they are becoming. This is essentially an individual orientation to learning, which is a contrast to the current massification of higher education , and one which educators could well use to reappraise their practice. At the end of the journey of higher education, expert students will become novice professionals , and it is their aims and aspirations that we should support.


High Education Professional Group Professional Identity Surface Approach Professional Mathematician 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Reid
    • 1
  • Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren
    • 2
  • Peter Petocz
    • 3
  • Lars Owe Dahlgren
    • 2
  1. 1.Sydney Conservatorium of MusicSydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Dept. Behavioural Sciences & LearningLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  3. 3.Dept. StatisticsMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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