About the project
The LiKE project conducts multi-level and comparative studies of learning and knowledge development in different professional fields. Special attention is given to the role of knowledge objects and artefacts in linking practices of workplace learning with wider knowledge frontiers.
The project is a strategic research initiative at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Education, which received funding from the Research Council of Norway in the years 2007-2011. However several PhD projects linked with LiKE are still running, and the project group is involved in and publishes from cross-case analyses.
The LiKE project has three scientific objectives:
- To elaborate the concept of “learning trajectory” as a framework that takes into account the transformation of expert knowledge in different professional fields. These processes are mediated by new artefacts and production regimes.
- To develop methods and research strategies that generate rich empirical material for multi-level analyses and time-scale comparisons of knowledge development and -creation in professional work.
- To conduct comparative case studies in four professional fields: Engineering, accountancy, nursing and teaching.
The rapid shifts in knowledge and institutional arrangements in contemporary society call upon individuals and communities to engage in never-ending processes of learning and re-learning. Although these developments have been widely discussed at a policy level, less attention has been paid to investigating how they manifest themselves within different groups and settings. Professional communities are of special interest in this respect. As practice-oriented knowledge cultures, the professions face challenges in transforming their domain of expertise into the complex demands of the knowledge society. At the same time their interrelated traditions, tools and working conditions produce opportunities as well as hindrances for learning and knowledge development.
The LiKE project pays special attention to the role of distributed knowledge in processes of learning: how new professional standards and artefacts come into being, how they are used and negotiated in professional practice, how they organise work and learning, how they facilitate or obstruct the construction of learner identities, and what kind of problems practitioners face in their endeavour to make practical use of the tools provided.
It is designed to follow up themes from the ProLEARN project (2004-2007) and other research efforts at the Faculty of Education.
The empirical part of the project targets three research questions:
- What characterizes trajectories of learning in professional work when new knowledge practices are emerging?
- How do epistemic infrastructures provided in these practices facilitate, or alternatively obstruct, learning among professionals?
- How are engagements with knowledge in different professional cultures related to learning patterns and movements over time?
To explore these questions the research activities are organized along three strands:
- In-depth case studies of learning practices in working life
- Comparative analyses of institutionalized knowledge structures in the professional fields of nursing, teaching, engineering and accountancy
- Longitudinal studies of practitioners’ learning trajectories
Partner projects and collaborators:
- ProLEARN (Department of educational research)
- Ahus - Standardized work descriptions (InterMedia)
- Innovative leadership: Knowledge, technology and new practices (Dep. of teacher education and school development)
- European Integration and Education (Department of educational research)
- StudData (Centre for the studies of professions)
- The knowledge work of professional associations (Department of educational research)