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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 14 April 2022

Robert Holmgren and David Sjöberg

The purpose of this study is to explore Swedish police education teachers’ informal workplace learning and its perceived value for their professional development. Two…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore Swedish police education teachers’ informal workplace learning and its perceived value for their professional development. Two categories of teachers, police teachers and university teachers, with different professional knowledge and experience, work together at the police education unit.

Design/methodology/approach

The method used was in-depth interviews with teachers working at a Swedish police education unit.

Findings

Informal workplace learning was perceived by both teacher groups to be of great value for gaining knowledge about the local practice and for their professional development. Their learning emerged in discussions, observations and practically oriented activities in their daily work. Four conclusions: firstly, the teachers’ informal workplace learning was socially and practice-oriented and learning emerged in a collaborative, reciprocal and active process. Secondly, the embodied nature of the learning is evident in the teachers’ joint activities in the teaching practice. Thirdly, it takes time and active involvement in the local practice to become a professional teacher in this kind of education. Fourthly, an educational structure where academic knowledge and experience can be integrated with police knowledge and experience constitutes an important basis for teachers’ professional development in police education and training.

Originality/value

The study’s focus on police education and the professional development of teachers in this specific practice contributes to increased knowledge of the social, practice-oriented and embodied nature of informal workplace learning.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Roy Roberg and Scott Bonn

There has been a long‐standing debate over whether a college education for police officers is desirable or even necessary. Today, with the ever‐expanding complexity of the…

10596

Abstract

There has been a long‐standing debate over whether a college education for police officers is desirable or even necessary. Today, with the ever‐expanding complexity of the police role and the transition toward community policing, this question is more significant than ever. A zenith of interest and debate over the requirement of higher education for officers was reached in the 1970s, but it soon died out. However, a quickly changing social landscape, changing job role, rapid technological advancement, domestic terrorism and increased scrutiny have combined to renew the debate over higher education. This article attempts to synthesize past literature and bring the discussion up to date. Finally, the authors will advocate a position that would require a bachelor's degree for police officers over time, using a graduated timetable and supported by federal funding.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Kirsi Kohlström, Oscar Rantatalo, Staffan Karp and Mojgan Padyab

This study aims to examine how subgroups within a cohort of Swedish police students value different types of curricula content (i.e. new competencies versus enduring ones…

1359

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how subgroups within a cohort of Swedish police students value different types of curricula content (i.e. new competencies versus enduring ones) in the context of the currently transforming landscape of basic police training.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on a Swedish national survey (N = 369), the study examined variations in how students value new versus enduring police curricula content based on sociodemographic factors. Specifically, factors such as student age and gender and the institutional arrangements of education were tested using an independent t test.

Findings

The study identified differences in values based on gender. Female students valued competencies such as communication, flexibility, diversity and decisiveness as more important in an educational setting than did males. Fewer differences were found in relation to institutional arrangement, and in-house students valued flexibility and communication skill as more important for educational curricula compared to university-based students. No differences were found in relation to age.

Originality/value

This study adds knowledge to the question of how changes in occupational education policy develop in practice. More specifically, the study explored how students in educational programmes value new versus enduring competencies and whether differences can be identified based on sociodemographic factors. These questions are important because they expose sociodemographic conditions that influence how students value policy-driven skills versus enduring ones.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 29 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Silje Bringsrud Fekjær

The purpose of this paper is to compare the social background of Norwegian and Swedish police students. Are there differences in the students’ social background, and if…

1075

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the social background of Norwegian and Swedish police students. Are there differences in the students’ social background, and if so, are such differences reflected in different attitudes and career plans among the students?

Design/methodology/approach

The questions are explored on the basis of survey data on all Norwegian and Swedish police students who started their education in 2009 (n=737). The methods employed are cross-tabular analysis and multivariate linear regression.

Findings

The results show that a larger proportion of Norwegian police students have highly educated parents, compared to the Swedish. However, students’ social background does not seem to be important for their orientation towards theory and knowledge or their plans for doing operational police work.

Practical implications

An important question for the future's police educators is whether a study with a formal bachelor status will attract a different type of students. These results show that the Norwegian police education with a formal bachelor degree attracts more students with highly educated parents, but the importance of attracting students with a given social background to the police profession seems to be limited.

Originality/value

There are no previous comparative studies on recruitment to police education, or studies of police recruitment that focus especially on the importance of social background.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Christie Gardiner

The purpose of this paper is to describe the state of police education in California. There is limited national data on the topic and this study aims to improve our…

2975

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the state of police education in California. There is limited national data on the topic and this study aims to improve our knowledge by studying the state with the highest number of law enforcement officers in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 162 local law enforcement agencies (police and sheriffs’ departments) in California completed a 32-question electronic survey about police education and training.

Findings

Findings reveal that California agencies are more likely than agencies nationwide to offer incentives to encourage officers to pursue higher education. Although most departments require only a high school diploma, 35 percent of sworn officers are college graduates. Most college-educated officers are employed by medium and large sized agencies in urban counties which pay above-average salaries.

Research limitations/implications

This paper demonstrates how the prevalence of educated police officers varies and that higher education requirements do not adversely affect the hiring of female officers. It also provides insight from police managers regarding their concerns about requiring a four-year degree and perceptions of whether college-educated officers are actually better officers than non-college-educated officers.

Practical implications

Research findings may be instructive to police managers wanting to increase the number of sworn officers in their agency who hold a college degree.

Originality/value

It adds to the literature by describing the education level of police officers in California and providing information about the educational requirements and incentives offered to officers by law enforcement agencies. No previous study has addressed this topic, even though California employs 12 percent of all sworn peace officers in the USA.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Suman Kakar

This study examines whether police officers’ level of education is associated with their perceptions of performance of duties and delivery of services. Using self report…

3526

Abstract

This study examines whether police officers’ level of education is associated with their perceptions of performance of duties and delivery of services. Using self report survey methodology 110 officers with different levels of education (high school, some college education but not a degree, and college degree) evaluated themselves on 40 performance categories. The results indicate that officers with some college education and college degree report themselves performing better on several of the performance categories than officers with no college education. Even when years of experience with the law enforcement department are controlled for, officers with higher education reported performing significantly better than their counterparts with lower education.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Steven Jay Cuvelier, Di Jia and Cheng Jin

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between Chinese police cadets’ background, motivations and educational perceptions and their attitudes toward…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between Chinese police cadets’ background, motivations and educational perceptions and their attitudes toward common police roles.

Design/methodology/approach

Self-administered questionnaires were collected from 382 Chinese police cadets. Based upon predisposition and socialization theories, personal background, career motivation and attitudes toward education were examined as statistical explanations of cadets’ attitudes toward order maintenance, preventative patrol, law enforcement, and community building as elements of the police role.

Findings

Cadets who recognized more value in their practical and academic education also significantly favored the transitional and contemporary police roles (preventative patrol, law enforcement, and community building), which are taught as part of their college curriculum. But educational perceptions had no effect on order maintenance, which is a more historical role, and not emphasized by the police college. Cadets from lower SES backgrounds and those receiving outside influence to select a policing career tended to support traditional police roles whereas cadets with a relative in policing tended to show greater support for contemporary policing roles.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by being a cross-sectional study of a single police college. Future studies should incorporate a longitudinal element to follow the perceptions of cadets from their school experience into the policing profession and should be conducted in other settings to assess generalizability.

Practical implications

The impact of higher education on police cadets appears to be better measured as a function of their perceived importance of education (engagement) rather than measuring their exposure to it. The effectiveness of police training and education may be enhanced by adopting teaching methods that better engage learners.

Social implications

Better alignment between police officers’ attitudes toward their roles and duties and contemporary police standards and practices will assure more effective and responsible police action and delivery of police services to the community.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to demonstrate that Cadets who hold higher regard for practical and academic education are significantly better aligned to the policing roles emphasized by their educational program.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Margaret H. Vickers

Examines police management education and research practices from an observer’s perspective. Believes that with changes in management education and research practices police

1721

Abstract

Examines police management education and research practices from an observer’s perspective. Believes that with changes in management education and research practices police managers should be able to respond better to the issues they face. Highlights the anti‐intellectual subculture and the emphasis on practice and experience within the Australian police education proglrams. Supports the change to an organisation which values theory, reflection and critique. A more holistic approach to management is required. The choices of research methodology should be considered more in the quest for more valid and useful information.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 1995

Leslie B. Buckley and Michael G. Petrunik

Takes a random sample of 156 respondents from municipal and rural police forces in Canada to examine the relationship between various factors concerning their careers…

1503

Abstract

Takes a random sample of 156 respondents from municipal and rural police forces in Canada to examine the relationship between various factors concerning their careers. Finds that a significant number of officers perceive their career orientation to have changed over time. Presents findings on social activists, enforcers, careerists, specialists and self investors. Differs from previous research linking career orientation to personality type by seeing career orientation as changing with time, stages of career and circumstances. Remarks that policing needs to be technically sophisticated, cost‐effective, community‐based and sensitive to the realities of a multicultural society. Recommends that police departments consider the career orientation of recruits and establish a reward structure suited to the varied career types

Details

American Journal of Police, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0735-8547

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Michael G. Breci

Suggests that policing is changing to a more responsive, community oriented approach which requires a change in the skills and knowledge of line officers. Departments need…

603

Abstract

Suggests that policing is changing to a more responsive, community oriented approach which requires a change in the skills and knowledge of line officers. Departments need to develop long range plans for ensuring that police officers are prepared to meet the challenges of working with the community and solving problems. Continuing education and college courses provide a framework for bringing about change within the department. Presents an exploratory study which examines a random sample of Minnesota officers’ perceptions of the role of their agencies in upgrading officers’ skills and knowledge for the transition to community‐oriented policing. Results indicate that the majority of the continuing education completed by officers had little to do with developing skills associated with community‐oriented policing. Furthermore, officers contended that agencies were not generally supportive of their continuing college educations. Officers’ perceptions varied by the type of agency they belonged to, the size of the agency, their rank and their educational level.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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