Learning from Conceptions of Professional Responsibility and Graduates Experiences in Becoming Novice Practitioners

  • Tone Dyrdal Solbrekke
  • Ciaran Sugrue
Part of the Innovation and Change in Professional Education book series (ICPE, volume 7)


In this chapter you are invited to consider the complexity of professional responsibility. The argument we construct is in six sections. Part 1 develops a theoretical framework around professional responsibility and positions this within the negotiation of meaning and identity within communities of practice, competing influences of accountability and autonomy. Cognisance is also taken of these dynamic influences within a wider confluence of ‘social movements’ (Castells, 2000, The information age: Economy, society and culture volume III end of millennium (2nd edn., Vol. III). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers; 2004, The information age economy, society and culture volume II the power of identity (2nd edn.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.) and the imperative to construct new synergies. Part 2 describes the national policy context of higher education in Norway and how external forces such as the Bologna Agreement are shaping national policies in some areas (cf. Karseth, 2008, Education & Democracy – Journal of Didactics and Educational Policy, 17(2), 51–72). Part 3 deals with the participants in the study and its methodological challenges, the manner in which the data were generated and analysed (cf. Solbrekke, 2007, Understanding conceptions of professional responsibility). Part 4 presents a number of themes that indicate the manner in which graduate students within two different professional schools have concepts of professional responsibility mediated to them and the various ways in which they first begin to internalise and work with them, while they begin to develop their professional identities during their transition from higher education to workplace settings. Part 5 focuses on these students’ experiences of professional responsibility as novice professionals; how they renegotiate their conceptions of professional responsibility in workplace environments and their ongoing identity construction is re-formed in the context of workplace realities. Part 6 speculates on the scope for reconceptualising our approach to professional responsibility and on how higher education might respond in a more comprehensive manner to its own responsibility for the professional formation of new professionals.


High Education Clinical Psychologist Professional Identity Professional School Professional Judgement 
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. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Institute for Educational ResearchUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity College DublinRoebuck CastleDublin 4

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