Common features of expertise in working life: implications for higher education
Published on Jul 26, 2018in Journal of Further and Higher Education
· DOI :10.1080/0309877x.2018.1471126
ABSTRACTWe need to know what it means to be an expert in working life today. Universities are often accused of neglecting the basic idea that higher education should be relevant to working life, and research on the subject of expertise in today’s workplace is lacking. Thirteen experts from different fields were interviewed and the obtained data were analysed using grounded theory as an analytical approach. The research questions were: (1) How do experts define expertise? (2) What kind of problems persist in their work? and (3) How are ‘routine’ and ‘adaptive’ expertise performed? The results revealed that expertise is more a social and collaborative phenomenon than an individual property. Experts develop new solutions and seek constant learning in their work. They excel at spontaneous problem solving. These findings suggest that, to prepare students to become experts, deliberate learning and practice should be provided within a framework of collaborative problem solving.