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Wednesday, June 18 • 1:30pm - 2:20pm
CON1.11 – Towards a Conceptual Model of Student Professionalization: Reflecting on Learning Trajectories and Instructional Practices (Room A342)

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As program directors, instructional designers, faculty teachers, or educational developers, how can we prepare university students for effective professional practice? What does it mean to prepare students for professional practice? The purpose of this interactive workshop is to shed light on professionalizing teaching practices within and beyond the classroom through the lens of a conceptual framework on student professionalization in higher education. More specifically, participants will be invited to analyse instructional practices and discuss what it means to prepare students for future professional practice in a program-based approach.

Despite a growing number of curricular innovations (Béchard & Pelletier, 2004; Bédard & Béchard, 2009) in university programs focusing on preparing students for effective professional practice, the concept of student professionalization is yet rarely defined. We propose a holistic view of student professionalization as a process of becoming a professional which entails three learning dimensions: the development of professional competencies (Le Boterf, 2002; Fletcher, 2000; Tardif, 2006; Beckers, 2007), the appropriation of a professional culture (Abrandt Dahlgren, Richardson & Sjöström, 2004; Colbeck, 2008; Dryburgh, 1999; Greenwood, 1966), and the construction of a professional identity (Blin, 1997; Dubar, 2000; Gohier et al., 2001). This conceptual framework is based on previous qualitative research (Bélisle, 2011) investigating whether and how an innovative problem-based program in a mid-sized French Canadian university actually contributed to student professionalization. Although such a program led to different portraits of student professionalization, data obtained from graduated students reveal that the three dimensions are intertwined and influenced by personal features (e.g. goals, family background) as well as learning experiences provided through both academic (e.g. problem- and project-based learning, team learning, assessment practices) and professional settings (e.g. work placement). However, instructional practices mainly focused on competency development and whenever culture appropriation was considered, it was not done so in relation to competency development and/or identity construction. Throughout students’ learning trajectories, the way they professionalized was more specifically tinted by the contexts in which they evolved, the situations they encountered and the roles they engaged in. Results from this research will be briefly presented and will serve as a basis for discussing instructional practices likely to foster student professionalization in higher education. To avoid the separation of the three dimensions, participants will be invited to discuss learning situations and strategies that integrate competency development, culture appropriation and identity construction as a whole.


Wednesday June 18, 2014 1:30pm - 2:20pm EDT
A342 McArthur Hall

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