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PROFKNOW Report Summary

Project ID: 506493
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Sweden

Final Report Summary - PROFKNOW (Professional knowledge in education and health: Restructuring work and life between the state and the citizens in Europe)

The overarching ambition for the PROFKNOW project was to capture knowledge at work among professional actors in education and health care in relation to ongoing institutional restructuring in European welfare states. Research was carried out by teams in England, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The main idea was to get an understanding of professional experiences and expertise from a bottom-up perspective in order to consider opportunities and constraints for institutional change as well as issues of social cohesion and integration in Europe of today.

This meant that researchers put the professional actors in focus, and their experiences of ongoing changes in important welfare state institutions - education and health care. Though they dealt with issues of policy changes and different measures concerning issues of professional knowledge - e.g. in terms of professional education programmes - the PROFKNOW research was not about policy implementation. A more proper way to conceive of the PROFKNOW research focus was to deal with a problematic concerning "professional work life under restructuring".

The PROFKNOW consortium was productive concerning international conferences - in sum, 17, of different kinds. Taken together, the team presented and discussed their research in 36 seminars and symposia. They also contributed to and participated in the construction of international networks, such as the European Educational Research Association network on Politics of Education and Education Policy Analysis and the European Education Policy Network. Putting these activities together, the PROFKNOW project contributed significantly to the integration of the European research arena.

An ambition with the PROFKNOW research was to provide increased research cooperation with researchers from an enlarged Europe. This was partly done in two ways: by inviting researchers from the former eastern Europe as discussants in international conferences and by having a two-day conference on PROFKNOW research in 2006 in Tallinn, Estonia. However, the last step remained to be taken - to invite research cooperation using the PROFKNOW experiences with researchers from eastern and southern Europe.

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