This article introduces the concept of Personal Professional Theories to refer to knowledge development within the context of vocational education. They are personal interpretations of formal theories, work process knowledge and notions about professional attitude in a specific occupational domain, and are assumed to be frames of reference for professional experiences and guides in action simultaneously. To make detecting development in personal professional theories possible, strategies need to be validated for revealing them. Two strategies [i.e., concept mapping (CM) and a combination of CM with stimulated recall (SR)] are compared, by grading them on three aspects of adequacy (i.e., richness, coherence and content), to see which one reveals personal professional theories better. The sample consisted of 16 students of two training courses. Both strategies succeeded in revealing personal professional theories: The constructed maps displayed personal interpretations of formal theories, work process knowledge and notions about professional attitude. However, the concept maps of the combined strategy did worse on all aspects of adequacy. The CM strategy appeared better for revealing personal professional theories. Several explanations are offered, which deserve further investigation. Hence, despite the project’s small scale, the outcomes provide in interesting clues to reveal personal professional theories.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 2, 2010
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