Strange new world: Being a professional and the professional doctorate in the twenty-first century

Benjamin Wadham, Nicola Parkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The professional doctorate is represented as meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century but is structured by a fundamental dialectic of the academic and the profession. Both of these ideals are under significant erasure and transformation and the professional doctorate tells a story of these changes. In functional terms the professional doctorate is a marker of the twenty-first century and the pervasion of neoliberal educational governance in the higher education sector. In personal terms, it represents a space where the existential moment can serve to draw the professional through strangeness towards new meaningfulness. This paper is structured as a conversation between the Director, Doctor of Education and a Doctor of Education candidate who together explore these aspects within the context of the Doctor of Education at Flinders University. The two voices provide two distinct but complementary perspectives to illuminate the experience of being a twenty-first century higher education professional.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-624
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017


  • education professional
  • meaningfulness
  • Professional doctorate
  • twenty-first century


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