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Professional Life and Work

Professional Knowledge and Educational Restructuring in Europe

Developing a Conceptual Framework for Understanding

Generational differences in the professional strategies towards restructuring are expressed as differentiated attitudes towards intensification of working conditions. Senior teachers and nurses tend to ignore the pressures and they use experience and collegial learning as the main way to cope with new demands at work and compensation for the lack of up-to-date knowledge. Working conditions are experienced as more intense and pressurising on the part of the middle aged teachers. Hierarchies among this age group are more peculiar since their formal qualifications vary substantially (some of them having two years initial education, some others four years plus additional university ‘equation’ training). Younger teachers and nurses tend to come from a richer socio-economic background and they all have university qualifications. They experience restructuring not as part of historical consciousness regarding the transitions the profession is undergoing but as a frustrating client oriented working environment. Personnel shortages add to this feeling.
Substantial generational differences refer to the confidence in syndicalism as an effective professional strategy. In both the teaching and the nursing profession, the older generation is aware of the contribution of collective action in pro­posing and defending professional strategies. However, the younger generation of nurses and teachers are not interested in syndicalism and do not become active members partly because the image of syndicalism has faded as part of the more general mistrust in politics.

The Spanish case study is a beautifully constructed analysis of some of the comp­lexities and refractions of restructuring when viewed from below at the local level. Their analysis confirms the essential point about periodisation and trajectories and generations.

‘Talking about restructuring both in education and health requires us to talk briefly about structuring. As we have already said, the very late development of Welfare State in Spain has to be acknowledged when dealing with re­structuring. Only doing this one can understand the specificity of the Spanish case, which is something like a compressed and anomalous history of the Welfare State in Europe. Public health and education institutions were firstly developed in democracy in the 90’s. Before that, as we know, there were timid build-ups by Franco’s regime. Up until 1967 in health and 1970 in education there wasn’t a comprehensive system for providing basic services to most citizens. So basically what we see during the nineties is the building of the kind of welfare institutions that most European countries developed after the Second World War. A decade later, the first clear symptoms of their dismantling were manifest.’
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Professional Knowledge and Educational Restructuring in Europe
  • Date of publication: 01/01/2010
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 124
  • Publisher: Sense Publishers
  • Co-author: Goodson, I. F., & Lindblad, S. (Eds.)
  • Subject:
    Professional Life and Work
  • Available in:
  • Appears in:
    Professional Knowledge and Educational Restructuring in Europe
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: $39
  • ISBN: 978-94-6091-377-8
  • Buy used and new from: Amazon uk