In-field training in the police: Learning in an ethical grey area?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Purpose Although workplace learning is an important part of professional learning, little is known about the unethical aspects of workplace learning. This study aims to describe students’ learning experiences from in-field training in the police. This paper aims to examine how workplace learning can challenge proper ethical professional development and thus become a question of ethical concern. Design/methodology/approach The study is based on open-ended questions in a questionnaire among Norwegian police students (N = 277) who had ended their one year’s in-field training and had returned to campus for the third and final year of police education. The data are analysed by means of a qualitative content analysis. Findings The paper presents two findings. First, the students learn best from assignments that push them beyond their comfort zone. Second, students struggle with their own expectations of themselves as police officers. The findings suggest that workplace learning leaves students aspiring to demonstrate their capability to be a police officer, rather than focusing on learning to be a police officer.
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