Being competent: the relational interdependence between individual and social agency in working life.
Maintaining competence throughout working life -- professional development -- comprises the dual process of individual change and the remaking of cultural practices. These are enacted through an interdependence between individual agency and social suggestion. Rather than being reciprocal or joint, this interdependence is relational. Such a proposition brings to the foreground both the pre-mediate social experience that shapes individuals' identities, subjectivities and agency, and the history of relations with the social world that constitutes their ontogeneses. Together, these shape how individuals construe and engage with the immediate social experience, which is overly privileged in current accounts of learning through work and working life. The immediate or situated social experience is salient for understanding the requirements for performance within and across instances of work practices as well as issues of collectivity within work settings. However, its privileging serves to de-emphasise the energy, creativity and adaptability of individuals who construe, participate in and transform situated and cultural practices. Each generation remakes these practices in particular times and under particular moments of transformation guided by individuals' possibly unique socially-derived subjectivities. Therefore, beyond the contributions of history, culture and situation there is a need to consider the social genesis of knowledge arising from individuals' intentional and agentic action in the remaking cultural practices ands learning. These concepts are elaborated and exercised within a discussion about learning throughout working life: Being competent.
Bridging individual, organisational, and cultural aspects on professional learning