22 SES 11 C, Adapting to Circumstances and Changing With the Times? Is this the Dawn of a New Academic Professionalism in Europe?
This predominantly theoretical paper is about academic practice and professionalism. By ‘professionalism’ I do not mean behaving in an exemplary fashion as a member of an elite occupational group; such notions of a profession and such conceptions of professionalism are now outmoded. My conception of professionalism is that it is essentially and principally about what practitioners do (in the context of their working lives); how they do it; what they know and understand; where and how they acquire their knowledge and understanding; what attitudes they hold; what codes of behaviour they adhere to; what their function is: what purposes they perform; what quality of service they provide; and the level of consistency incorporated into the above. I perceive professionalism as qualitatively-neutral occupational practice that incorporates several specific requisite features. The paper introduces my own original conceptual model, which trifurcates professionalism into its behavioural, attitudinal and intellectual components, each of which has components of its own (such as the perceptive, the evaluative, and the processual components of professionalism). Drawing upon a case study of an English research-intensive university I illustrate the model’s potential as a new analytical framework for studying European academic professionalism and examining in fine detail its changing nature.
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