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Scaling-Reflexive Teaching for Scaling-­Reflexive Professionalism

By Thomas Marthaler and Claude Haas


This contribution is basically about how the authors, co-teaching a social work class on “political, social and judicial systems” developed a concept of scaling-reflexive professionalism to be taught in scaling-reflexive teaching. Scaling-reflexive professionalism implies at least three aspects. Firstly, it refers to the professionals’ ability of questioning what could be termed as collectively shared understandings of how professionals have to act on their ‘clients’ with regard to the organisation and the field they are working in. Secondly, it means that professionals have to be sensible to the ongoing scaling work in organisations and fields, i.e. concurrent enactment by different people in different places – governance units or arenas, front- or border-line services – of partially conflicting, emotionally conglutinated and more or less materially cemented ideas/beliefs. Thirdly, it implies that professionals are able, in interaction with persons that are organisationally scaled as ‘clients’, to ‘control’ their own professional scales in order to understand the scales deployed by the latter. From here, the teaching challenge turns out to be twofold. On the one hand, theoretical knowledge - as scales - has to be anchored in the students’ stock of experience, and on the other, students have to acquire competence in making use of it. Therefore, scaling-reflexivity has to be taught in scaling-reflexive interactions. In a first step, we as teachers need to discover a bigger range of our students’ scaling universes, and we have to create situations of interaction with our own universes. In a second step, we need to confront the scales of administrators, professionals and clients in social service organisations with their own and those of their teachers through field research - mainly interviews with these different actors. Law, technologies and organigrams and so on progressively then begin to appear in their characteristic as conventions . Students would discover them as such and begin to analyse professional scopes of intervention for the well-being of their clients

Topics: scaling-sensible teaching, scaling-sensible professionalism, Social & behavioral sciences, psychology :: Sociology & social sciences [H10], Sciences sociales & comportementales, psychologie :: Sociologie & sciences sociales [H10], Social & behavioral sciences, psychology :: Social work & social policy [H09], Sciences sociales & comportementales, psychologie :: Travail social & politique sociale [H09]
Year: 2015
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