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Professional responsibility as legitimate compromises - from communities of education to communities of work

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This article focuses on the formation of conceptions of professional responsibility. Perspectives developed by the moral philosopher Larry May, supported by the social theory of learning, constitute the main analytical tools for the interpretation of law and psychology students' conceptions of professional responsibility by the end of higher education and after a year at work. Consistent with May, individual conceptions of professional responsibility are understood as legitimate compromises. The findings indicate that, although conceptions of professional responsibility do not change profoundly in the transition from education to work, they are renegotiated in work contexts. Such a result invites teachers in professional programmes to reflect upon how students may be encouraged to develop a moral awareness of professional responsibility robust enough to meet the complex challenges in working life.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute for Educational Research, University of Oslo, Norway

Publication date: 01 August 2008

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