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Levels of learning in environmental expertise: From generalism to personally indexed specialisation

Janasik, N; Salmi, O; Broto, VC; (2010) Levels of learning in environmental expertise: From generalism to personally indexed specialisation. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences , 7 (4) 297 - 313. 10.1080/1943815X.2010.529151.

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Abstract

The past 15 years in Finland have witnessed a diversification among environmental experts. In addition to engineers and biologists, increasing numbers of environmental scientists - from both the natural and social sciences - have entered the job market. Universities in Finland have tried to respond to this challenge by implementing innovative forms of environmental education. This article inquires into the experiences of Finnish environmental social scientists who have received a form of education that explicitly aims at increasing their capacity to discern social and ecological nuances in environmental issues. These ideas seem to promote a particular form of "practical wisdom" or phronesis. The article analyses a set of interviews with both supporters of, and participating students in, two educational programmes with "phronetic" aims to assess how these new environmental experts define their expertise and professional identities. We claim that students had to learn to frame and contextualise not only complex environmental issues, but also their own abilities and capacities as analysts of such complex issues. The research results are useful for strategic decision-making in both environmental and science policy. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Type:Article
Title:Levels of learning in environmental expertise: From generalism to personally indexed specialisation
DOI:10.1080/1943815X.2010.529151
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit

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