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Agentic professionals

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 12 years, 8 months ago

Human agency – the basis for being an effective professional 

Our success as human beings can largely be ascribed to our agency to exert control over other people and the physical and natural world. Personal agency when exercised in the professional work context, lies at the heart of being a responsible and effective professional. While concepts like professional skill, capability, identity, efficacy are important they are all connected, embodied and enacted through the idea of the ‘agentic professional’. We would like to examine the role of higher education in developing agentic professionals through our conference and Professor Stephen Billett’s invited contribution ‘Learning to be an agentic professional: conceptions, curriculum, pedagogy and personal epistemologies’ will help develop our understanding of this important idea.




Professor Albert Bandura 

Agentic Learners Albert Bandura.pdf


According to Albert Bandura who developed the idea, ‘human agency – the capacity to exercise control over the nature and quality of one's life is the essence of humanness. Human agency is characterized by a number of core features that operate through phenomenal and functional consciousness. These include the temporal extension of agency through intentionality and forethought, self-regulation by self-reactive influence, and self-reflectiv e ness about one's capabilities, quality of functioning, and the meaning and purpose of one's life pursuits. Personal agency operates within a broad network of sociostructural influences. In these agentic transactions, people are producers as well as products of social systems. Social cognitive theory distinguishes among three modes of agency: direct personal agency, proxy agency that relies on others to act on one's behest to secure desired outcomes, and collective agency exercised through socially coordinative and interdependent effort.




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