The new practitioner : transcending disciplinary boundaries

Baracskai, Zoltán and Dörfler, Viktor and Kádár, Judit Ágnes (2016) The new practitioner : transcending disciplinary boundaries. Work Based Learning e-Journal International, 6 (1). pp. 8-21. ISSN 2044-7868

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In this opinion paper we introduce a school-wide concept at doctoral level aimed at professional practitioners, who wish to stay in their respective areas of work. The rationale behind this school-wide concept is that in Hungary, where its implementation is currently in progress, gaining a PhD automatically means becoming an academic. However, there is a significant demand amongst high-performing professional practitioners, who are not inclined to become academics, for further learning opportunities at the highest level. They are our target market. We also wish to respond to one of the current challenges the academy is globally facing globally, namely to maintain the highest scholarly standard while achieving high relevance for practice. The school-wide concept that can adequately engage with both of these problems is naturally a work-based one. Thus what we outline here is a professional doctorate in a school-wide context. We frame this new approach based on three principles: Popper’s tentative problem solving process, Nicolescu’s method of transdisciplinarity, and Bourdieu’s approach to reflexivity. From these three principles we have synthesised a transdisciplinary tentative process of creative problem solving, which is both reflexive and reflective. We bring this process into the foreground and build a knowledge landscape in the background. The taught components (content) of the knowledge landscape are delivered by the disciplines involved in the form of high-level meta-knowledge. Since there are two focal dimensions of the programme content, we label it bifocal. The enquiring practitioners, who are also passionate learners, will make their journey through the professional doctoral school. They will follow their own transdisciplinary tentative processes of creative problem solving in this bifocal knowledge landscape, which is composed of taught components and additional elements that are to be discovered or created in the community of New Alexandrians.