Competence-based vocational education is based on a constructivist learning paradigm, where the development of students’ personal professional knowledge is emphasised. However, there is a lack of insight into how students construct their own professional knowledge and what the content and nature of personal professional knowledge is. This article elaborates the concept Personal Professional Theory (PPT): a personal knowledge base in which professional knowledge and beliefs are internalised. PPTs are built upon a combination of declarative and procedural knowledge and are stored in the long-term memory. Furthermore, knowledge in PPTs refers to compiled knowledge which can be specified and applied to different professional situations. These PPTs develop through an interrelated process of internalisation and socialisation, in which students grow into the existing body of shared knowledge and collective norms, values and beliefs of professionals of an occupational domain. It is concluded that the elaboration of PPTs can be used to stimulate and monitor personal professional knowledge development in vocational education, but further research into the content and nature of PPTs is required.
- personal professional theories
- knowledge and beliefs
- declarative and procedural knowledge
- personal knowledge development
- internalisation and socialisation