Theory or practice? : Perspectives on police education and police work
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This article explores interview data taken from a study of Norwegian police training, and discusses whether police education is perceived as providing a relevant and sufficient platform for performing police work. Since the police have monopoly status when it comes to the general use of physical force, the police practice appears boundless. How should police education be directed towards covering such a diverse and complex role? The article will demonstrate how differently police officers assess police education. The interview data will display both ideological differences with regard to how policing is viewed as well as highly different expectations of police education. There is a contradiction in the fact that the police districts expect a finished product, in terms of professional autonomous police officers from the Police College, but the Police College will hardly be able to meet such an expectation. Through the notion of “practice theory” the article will challenge the traditional distinction between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ by conceptualizing the relationship between education and practice.