Learning Showcase Keynote Address

Tara Fenwick

Professor Tara Fenwick

Formerly Head of Education Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada, Professor Fenwick moved to the UK in 2010 to be Professor of Professional Education at the University of Stirling. While in the UK she was the founding Director of ProPEL, the international network for research in Professional Practice, Education and Learning based at the University of Stirling, and Associate Director for the Scottish Institute for Policing Research based at University of Dundee. She also sat on Council for the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK's national funding body, and was Chair of the ESRC Capability Committee. Her research has focused on professional work and knowledge, changing professionalisms, cultures of work, and sociomaterial theories of practice and learning. Her recent books include Professional Responsibility and Professionalism in New Regimes: A sociomaterial examination (Routledge 2016); Reconceptualising Professional Learning: sociomaterial knowledges and practices (with M Nerland, Routledge 2014); Governing Knowledge: comparison, knowledge-based technologies and expertise in the regulation of education (with J Ozga and E Margez, Routledge 2014); Professional Learning in Changing Contexts (with M Nerland, 2013); and Actor-Network Theory in Education (with R Edwards, 2010). A forthcoming book is Rethinking Actor-Network Theory in Educational Research (with R Edwards, 2017).

Transformations of Professional Practice – Implications for Higher Education: Showcase Abstract
Changes in professional practice are by now a common discussion across domains of health and social care, education, law, finance and others. Increasingly however, analysts are showing that beyond the ongoing changes that professionals have learned to adapt to in their everyday activity, fundamental transformations are underway that are profoundly altering the role and responsibilities of professions, their relations with society and citizens, their activity, and their knowledge. New demands are posed by internationalisation, digital technologies, dramatic shifts in work arrangements, and conflicting logics exercised by multiple stakeholders. All of these affect professional learning as well as the need to re-examine curricula and pedagogy for pre-service professional education. In some domains, urgent attention is being demanded for reform of higher education programmes serving professionals. In this presentation, I overview some of the research that tackles these issues, and suggest questions to prompt our discussion of what implications there may be for our own education programmes.