Faculty of Education and Society Research Institute Seminar: The Concept of 'Difficult Knowledge' and its Place in Partnership Development

St. Peter's Campus

Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre, St. Peter's Campus

Dr Kim Gilligan

Principal Lecturer in Teaching and Learning

University of Sunderland


As part of the CASS Lecture Series Dr Kim Gilligan discusses her research on the concept of 'Difficult Knowledge' and Partnership Development

Dr Kim Gilligan discusses her insightful research on 'difficult knowledge' which arises when partnerships are utilised to alleviate the gap between theory and practice. Students transitioning from University to Professional Practice can sometimes experience a 'Culture Shock'. Partnerships, such as visiting speakers sharing their own contexts and challenges, are used to alleviate this gap between theory and practice, enabling students to gain an awareness and understanding of the potential challenges they may face in their chosen fields when leaving university. Dr Kim Gilligan will discuss a specific example of the University training two cohorts of Social Work Managers wishing to contribute to the teaching in HE, the ‘difficult knowledge’ that emerged for both participants and staff, and how lessons learned from this inform us about key elements of partnership working. The lecture will explore the inherent tensions between the personal and the professional, the critical and acritical, as well as theory and practice. Dr Kim Gilligan will draw upon the work of Bourdieu's (2004) concept of habitus and field, in addition to wider literature relating to a range of professional groups that explore the notion of professional socialisation and the influence of micropolitics on developmental trajectories. 


All University Staff, Students, and the Public are welcome to attend! We look forward to seeing you all there!