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Professional Education - Essay Example

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Professional Education

Finally, all these changes have affected and put under challenge professional education. This is further evident in the following lines as mentioned by Robert B. Reich, when he says, "In this mercantilist game, one sovereign's advance (was) necessarily at the expense of another, because the whole point of the exercise (was) to gain more power than a potential opponent." (Reich, 1991, p.14).
The above statement by Reich has served to raise the bar as far as professional performance at the very grass roots level is concerned. Competitive advantage is the new name of the game. This has in turn given rise to new diktats in the professional sphere. Professions in general have been subject to new conditions.
The new conditions have raised issues about the nature of professional knowledge and particularly about the relationship between theory and practice. Usually people in the beginning of their professional career try to put into practice all the 'theory' they got in tertiary education and sometimes use it as their Bible. After the first period of adaptation in the professional ring, they realize that, this effort towards applying theory to practice is not very helpful and that there is a strong need of a different knowledge field, which is more practical. Hence, the experience of practice leads them to be critical of the theoretical knowledge that they have acquired and often they replace it with practical knowledge acquired in the workplace. This practical knowledge is what we term as experience. So, the key issue for the practitioner of professional teaching is to create the necessary grounds for distinction between theory and practice in an up to date manner and thereby defining the two concepts as different. This is thus a perennial challenge more than just an otworn dichotomy.

The basis of education comes from its ability to imbibe enough effort into theory to translate the same into visible effects in practice. According to Eliot Freidson, "In the most elementary sense, professionalism is a set of institutions which permit the members of an occupation to make a living while controlling their own work." (Freidson, 2001, p.17). The structure of the essay draws from this premise in the very beginning through a distinct differentiation between profession and occuspation. This is due to the fact that Pprofessional education draws from this premise the maximum. If we are to consider Freidson's statement, we will find that the professionals are those who rise above adopting an occupation in the sense that they strive through their professional lives, to strike a balance between the practice of the occupation and the theory that they have acquired before and after entering the sphere of practice. This paper deals with the disparities between theory and practice in professional education so as to prove that bridging that gap is a perennial challenge for professional education and not simply an outworn dichotomy.

Many scholars believe that theory and practice are characterized by a clear difference because each one offers a different, not opposite, knowledge field. According to Durkheim, theory refers to the knowledge that we know ("word") and practice relates to the knowledge that we need to know ("world"). In other words the first is the knowledge tha ...Show more


With an increase in the phenomenon known as globalization and the wide use of technology as a complementary feature, human society has changed and the needs have increased manifold. Changes in the political, economical and cultural arena have challenged and effected alterations within various professions…
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