The Formation of Expertise

Authored by: Ben Kotzee

Handbook of Philosophy of Education

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032000053
eBook ISBN: 9781003172246
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the strengths, weaknesses, and educational implications of two kinds of philosophical theories of expertise: cognitive theories, which locate expertise in the context of intelligent contact with reality, and skills-based theories, which locate expertise in the context of skilled manipulation of tools and raw materials in the world. Based on an overview of prominent recent work on expertise in the philosophy of education, it argues that these standard philosophical theories of expertise do not, in themselves, provide normative guidance to educators regarding how to foster expertise. While not a shortcoming of the theories per se, this points to the need for further investigation of the concept of expertise from the standpoint of philosophy of education. The chapter concludes that, from an educational standpoint, the formation of expertise should be understood in the context of occupational preparation, and it sketches the outlines of an account that makes the development of trustworthiness in practical action a central goal in the formation of expertise.

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