Competence and Professional Expertise

Arnoud Evers*, Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Theoretical and empirical controversies exist about the understanding and potentials of the concepts competence and professional expertise. In this chapter, both concepts will be thoroughly conceptualised and discussed. Competence and professional expertise are important as all professionals need to possess a high degree of competence or expertise in their specific job domain, to enable their own career development, and to stimulate laypersons of their own profession to have faith in their professional approach. In addition to this conceptualisation, different stages of competence or professional expertise will be discussed. As competence and professional expertise are interpreted to have the same meaning, the remainder of the chapter will focus on professional expertise. It is not only essential to discuss what is being learned, that is professional expertise, but also how one is learning, which is defined in this chapter as professional (expertise) development of employees. Therefore the chapter will continue with defining professional (expertise) development. Specific attention will be paid to the teaching profession, where professional (expertise) development is more important than ever. Because a difficult question for working organisations is which organisational conditions are significant for the further development of professional expertise of their employees, this chapter will end with a helpful overview of these ones that have proven to have predictive validity in this regard.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCompetence-based Vocational and Professional Education
    Subtitle of host publicationBridging the Worlds of Work and Education
    EditorsMartin Mulder
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319417134
    ISBN (Print)9783319417110, 9783319824116
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2016

    Publication series

    SeriesTechnical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects (TVET)


    • Competence
    • Professional Expertise
    • Informal Learning
    • Non-formal Learning


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