The research object: Professionalization

Phronesis is an international scientific journal whose research object is the study of discourse and practices that serve to professionalize jobs and training pathways. While the journal takes an interest in all human activity leading to professionalization (which may involve transforming the world or transforming oneself), it focuses in particular on the professionalization of jobs and training pathways relating to occupations that involve educating or caring for others (or “people-oriented” work). Analysis of research into these people-oriented roles and their professional practices highlights the inherently educational character of the work performed, which requires a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach to be fully understood.

Until now, classic scientific research into professionalization has largely focused on industrial activities and, to a lesser extent, in more recent years, on occupations centered around human relationships. It thus seems relevant to call upon the education and training sciences to construct a comprehensive interpretative framework of the professionalization of people-oriented occupations and of the training pathways that lead to them.

We argue that the constitutive activities of these people-oriented jobs and/or occupations have the ultimate goal of producing an educational effect, even though this “education” may extend beyond the boundaries of any classroom. Analyses of professional frameworks proper to these jobs and occupations do not always highlight or make explicit reference to this educational goal. They do show, however, that this people-oriented approach is theorized and implemented with a well-meaning intention to support others’ learning and/or development, both professional and personal. This intention sometimes involves a strategy, or even has the educational and instructional function, to provide support to various target groups. To accept that these people-oriented occupations and jobs have an educational aim is to recognize that the professionals working in them also fulfil an educational function, because they contribute to efforts to improve the well-being of others—a goal whose prior condition is successful learning outcomes. It follows that these people-oriented occupations and jobs, relating to education, training, guidance, and support, as well as the care sector and social work, are characterized by an educational and ethical ambition, by the psychosocial dimension of their professional practice, and by the relational character of the work performed.

As a scientific journal that takes professionalization as its research object, Phronesis also fosters debate about people-oriented occupations and jobs, both in terms of their evolving sociohistorical, political, and ideological contexts—which in turn transform their professional practices—and of the most favorable pedagogical conditions for supporting apprentices or novices on their journey to becoming professionals in these sectors. The journal’s sphere of interest also includes the various disruptions that are part of an individual’s personal and professional development pathway, itself comprising bifurcations and changes of direction, which may be elected or imposed. Phronesis also aims to consider the actors involved in the professionalization process (trainers, tutors, mentors, advisors, evaluators, and so on), both during the training process and in the workplace.

Description of the journal and its strategic direction

The journal Phronesis invites the international scientific community in the human and social sciences, and especially the research community in education and training sciences, to join it in valorizing this debate, to situate their work in a multi-referential and interdisciplinary approach, and to put their results and reflections into perspective, in terms of their epistemological, theoretical, and conceptual groundings. Phronesis’s goal is to be an international journal of learning. It therefore encourages contributions from both francophone and non-francophone authors. It also participates fully in the valorization and diffusion of scientific knowledge by contributing to colloquiums, symposiums, and study days. It intends to play an active role in organizing and developing international networks dedicated to the study of the professionalization of training pathways and people-oriented jobs.

Since June 2015, the journal Phronesis has been classed as a reference journal by the French High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education. It is listed as a human and social sciences journal, in the discipline of “education and training sciences.”

Author instructions:
See the Advice to authors section at

Contact email: info@revue-phronesis.com

Journal’s website: http://www.revue-phronesis.com

Editorial team
Philippe Maubant, Journal director and deputy editor-in-chief
Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

Richard Wittorski, Editor-in-chief
University of Rouen Normandy, France.

Najoua Mohib, Editorial committee member
University of Strasbourg, France.

Christophe Gremion, Editorial committee member
Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET), Renens, Switzerland.

Roxane Deraynald, Subeditor

Scientific committee
See the list of the members of the journal’s scientific committee at


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