Sixth Framework Programme logoCitizens and governance in a knowledge-based society

New Perspectives for Learning - Briefing Paper 67

Professional Knowledge in Education and Health:
restructuring work and life between the state and the citizens in Europe

This is an Interim Briefing Paper of the project that started in September 2004

Context of the Research

European welfare institutions such as education and health care are restructuring their organisations in terms of decentralisation, deregulation, privatization and so forth. As a consequence professional positions and demands on professional competencies in these institutions are in transition. At the same time European societies are changing in different ways, e.g. in terms of a ”knowledge society” as well as in demographic and cultural changes. Professionals such as teachers and nurses are meeting such changes in their work with students and clients. Thus, there is a need to study these transitions and changes. The project will look at this from a “bottom-up” perspective by comparing experiences in different institutional and national contexts.

Key Issues

  1. To produce an improved knowledge base on professional knowledge “at work” among professional actors situated between the state on one side and citizens on the other side. This is based on life histories with three generations of teachers and nurses plus ethnographies in different European contexts.
  1. To describe, analyse and compare current restructuring in education and health in different parts of Europe from the point of view of teachers and nurses and in relation to their interaction with clients. An important aspect will be a social analysis based on surveys of up to 11,000 nurses and teachers in five European countries (Finland, Greece, Spain, Sweden and the UK)
  1. To contribute to the integration of a European Research Arena in terms of research cooperation, research communication and actions in relation to the enlargement of the European Union.

Further Information

The full title of the project is: “Professional Knowledge in Education and Health: restructuring work and life between the state and the citizens in Europe”. The final report is due in 2007.

The project website is at

This is a Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP). The maximum EU financial contribution to this project will be 1.350.000 Euro for a total duration of 36 months.

Research Institutions

Göteborg University in cooperation with Karlstad University and Borås University, Sweden
University of Brighton, UK
University of Athens. Greece
University of Joensuu, Finland
University of Barcelona, Spain
University of the Azores, Portugal
St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University, Ireland
Stockholm University, Sweden

Contact Person

Prof. Sverker Lindblad
Göteborg University
Department of Education
PO BOX 300
SE-405 30 Göteborg

Tel: +46 31 773 25 11
Fax: +46 31 773 2089


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Last updated 28 June 2007