• Rikke Kammer Kjeldsen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
This master's thesis is a study of Nutrition and Health students’ professional identity and of which didactic initiatives that seems to have a potential to support the development of the professional identity.
The background and relevance of this thesis originates from my bachelor in Nutrition and Health, where a lack of professional identity has been a big frustration during and after the education where a personal path should be found into a still widely unknown profession. This problem is a topic which frequently has been discussed on Facebook in a network for Bachelors in Nutrition and Health.
Although the Bachelors in Nutrition and Health has its origin many years ago, the education in its current form is relatively new and unknown to many. The education struggles with students not developing a strong professional identity during their time in the education, which is a challenge for the Bachelors in Nutrition and Health when they have to enter the profession.
This study has been carried out through a qualitative case study at a selected University College in Denmark. The collection of empirical data is carried out with inspiration from phenomenology as well as through observations of teaching and interviews with students from the 2nd and 6th semester. The analysis of the collected data has been carried out from a social constructivist standpoint and through the use of Etienne Wenger's Communities of Practice and Kåre Heggen's definition of Professional Identity.
The analysis of interviews with students conducted for this thesis, shows that the nutrition and health students’ motivation to enter the education is based on a personal interest in health and the opportunity to dive deeper into this topic. The interviewed students had difficulties describing what the professional identity was for a Bachelor in Nutrition and Health. They describe the profession as wide and that there is a lot of opportunities within the education. On the contrary they also find it challenging that the profession is so wide, making it difficult to navigate in. The interviewed students find the internships during the education positive for their development of their professional identity because it leads them to explore their acquired competences.
The results which are based on the observation of teaching and the analysis using Wenger´s Communities of Practice and Heggens definition of Professional Identity shows, that there seems to be a potential for students to explore their professional identity in classes where the students have the opportunity to meet students from semesters ahead of them. In the observed class dialogues about the profession arose between the students several times. This was even though it was not the purpose of this class. It seems to open a room for the students to involve in a community of practice where they can develop their professional identity through the negotiation of values within the profession and in participation in joint actions.
Publication date31 May 2022
Number of pages59
External collaboratorUkendt
ukendt Ukendt Ukendt
ID: 471713998