Worldview Education and Normative Professionalization

Project Data

Project Name: Worldview Education and Normative Professionalization
Duration: 1 December 2013 - 31 January 2018
Status (Ongoing or Completed): ongoing
Knowledge Centre: Learning and Innovation
Research Group: Normative Professionalization
Supervising Lecturer: Prof. Cok Bakker
Promotors: Prof. C. Bakker and Dr. K. H. ter Avest
Researchers: Edwin van der Zande (PhD candidate)
Training Centre: HU-PABO

Project Description

This qualitative empirical research project is closely linked to the Minor in Philosophy, World religions, and Spirituality offered at the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. The objective of the minor is to provide a (normative) professional education from a worldview perspective. In this minor, students articulate their personal worldview by means of a pre-designed narrative instrument. This instrument makes it possible, via a narrative analysis, to describe the relationship between a personal worldview and the process of normative professionalization.

Scientific Relevance

First of all, the research project seeks to provide a conceptual clarification between concepts such as ‘worldview education’ and ‘normative professionalization’. In addition, the study aims to operationalise concepts from philosophy (of education) and religious pedagogy. The operationalisation phase leads to the collection of a large number of narratives, that will provide more insight into the development of the value articulation and value orientation of the students. Moreover, this research has a semi-longitudinal character, which also leads to a description of the normative professionalization in the critical induction phase. Ultimately, this humanities research contributes to an individualized perspective on educational concepts such as core reflection, ‘deep learning’, ‘subjectivification’, ‘practical wisdom’ and ‘critical reflection’.

From a methodological perspective, the research is relevant in order to map out the complexity pertaining to a PhD candidate who researches his own educational practice. Furthermore, the research wants to contribute to the development of narrative research instruments and the methodical use of the psycho-educational Dialogical Self Theory.

Practical Relevance

The research project will result in the development of useful tools to chart and analyse the worldview orientation and the value orientation of students. In addition, the study provides useful tools for reflection which support students in their self-reflection and normative professionalization. These instruments will be tested immediately for their usefulness in the connected minor.

The research operationalises one of the principles of the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, namely that students must be given the opportunity to profile their study at the university in the worldview and the societal sphere (Article 2.4.c).

The research project seeks to map out how the induction phase of students proceeds and which factors play a role in this. An insight that can lead to recommendations about the extent to which the programme can contribute to the success of the induction phase, or to the timely detection of blockades in the development of students.

Presentations International Conferences

  • ISREV (July 2016).  Symposium: Normative professionalization and educational complexities. ‘Passio Complexitatis: a dialogical approach to Complexity’.
  • Goethe Universität Frankfurt (November 2015). ‘Weltanschauliche Position in Zusammenhang mit professionelle Identität’.  
  • Klingenthal Conference (September 2015). ‘Religious education applied in professional education and development’.
  • ENRECA Conference Vienna (May 2015). ‘Worldview education as a space of orientation’.
  • 8th International Conference on the Dialogical Self (ICDS) (2014) ‘Self-confrontation method as a research instrument’.
  • REA Conference Chicago (November 2014). ‘Worldview Education at a Secular University: a Promising Perspective on the Moral Dimension of Professional Development’.