Connecting professionalism, learning and identity

Manon Ruijters en Robert-Jan Simons (2020)

This is a conceptual article in which we try to connect some of our previous publications into a coherent new model of learner identity.

The first phase of our research concerns the research and theories about professional and work-related learning, followed by work on the learning landscape: a metaphor for organizational learning. The third phase looks at added learning preferences: five ways of work-related learning. Phase four introduces the concept of the learning professional, and phase five looks at research and theories about professional identity: what inalienably connects: who you are (person), the work you do (profession) and the context in which you shape it.

In the discussion, we try to explain how the various models can be connected, differentiated and integrated. Professional identity is the basis for all the other approaches. In an integrated set of questions, we bring it all together, introducing the new concept of learner identity and focusing on consequences for facilitating a professional learning culture.