Learning About Uncertainty in Professional Practice



Colin Coles, an educationist working in medicine, explores the nature of practice in order to understand uncertainty and how to deal with it. Quite fundamentally, uncertainty is a normal to-be-expected feature of every professional’s practice. In describing different types of judgements, he shows that the professionals’ capacity to deal with uncertainty rests on the development of their ‘practical wisdom’. He emphasises, too, that uncertainties are found not only in clinical practice but also in the practice of education. In his chapter he reviews four educational strategies for learning about uncertainty and concludes that focusing on the in-practice learning opportunities that occur naturally, informally, and spontaneously in the workplace may offer the best way forward. Educators then have choices to make regarding how to use educational judgements to support clinicians to learn about uncertainty in their clinical practice, and they can best do so by understanding more fully the educational potential in practice itself.


Professional Practice Process Option Practical Wisdom Professional Judgement Research Option 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Health and Social CareUniversity of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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