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date: 12 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Education for a professional career differs fundamentally from other forms of education. A physician, for example, must know more than medical science. To be competent, medical doctors must know how to practice medicine, which Donald Schön called knowing-in-action. At times, professional schools have been stepchildren in universities because they taught skills as well as pure knowledge. In other eras, a medical school or a law school might be one of a university’s crown jewels. Differing degrees of acceptance in universities seem correlated to a profession’s prestige and to a professional school’s ability to generate research and publications. The tensions between trying to satisfy those criteria while simultaneously teaching knowledge-in-action with pure knowledge are essential to the history of professional education. The professions differ from one another in how they have navigated through these tensions, but the differences are variations on more or less the same theme.

Keywords: Abraham Flexner, architecture schools, Christopher Columbus Langdell, law schools, medical schools, professional education, profession, William Osler

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