Becoming a forensic expert: Supervision for professionalization
2011 (English)In: Pushing Forward the Agenda: Emerging Issues in Working Life and Learning Research, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
The professional knowledge of a forensic expert is highly specialized and a narrow professional area with high quality demands from the judicial system. How do you learn such special professional knowledge? How do you become a forensic expert? In this paper we present the findings from an ethnographical study of the only way to become a forensic expert in Sweden – an internal training program at the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL). In other countries you learn to be a forensic expert through higher education. Previous research concerning learning forensic science or becoming a forensic expert are scarce. The aim of this paper is to explore the development of professional knowledge for future forensic experts. Specifically, the paper investigates how the forensic expert trainees’ learn through the internal training program within SKL focusing the supervision at work. We have conducted observations and informal/formal interviews with five forensic expert trainees’ and their supervisors. By drawing on a socio culturally perspective on learning it is possible to get an understanding of the forensic expert trainee’s learning trajectory and professional identity formation, as well as the activities of supervision. The findings show that processes of supervision, professional language and the interplay between internal training courses and learning integrated in everyday work are central in order to understand the process of becoming a forensic expert. SKL has an extensive internal training program within a quality assurance system. Despite this, the findings show that the socio cultural knowledge and traditions within the different work practices have a significant impact on how the supervision and thus, the learning processes are being shaped. Furthermore, a large part of the professional knowledge is tacit and this impose high and challenging demands on the quality of supervision since the practice of forensic work is a part of the Swedish judicial system.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Supervision, forensic expert, professionalization
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72237OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-72237DiVA: diva2:458653
The 1st International Seminar in the ESREA Network "Working Life and Learning",Linköping University, November 21-22, 2011