European Journal of Policing Studies


Educating Police Officers in Sweden – All about Making Meaning

Keywords meaning-making, police education, police educators, professional development, reflexivity
Authors Brengt Bergman, Staffan Karp en Ulrika Widding
Author's information

Brengt Bergman
Bengt Bergman, PhD, has completed a thesis which concludes three studies concerning the police education in Sweden: police teachers (Bergman, 2009), police supervisors (Bergman, 2016) and police field training officers – FTOs (Bergman, 2017). At the moment, he is head of the Police Supervisor Course at The Swedish Police Authority (Corresp:

Staffan Karp
Staffan Karp, PhD and Associated Professor at the Department of Education, Umeå University. He has conducted several studies on police education and police work: (Karp & Stenmark, 2011), (Lauritz & Karp, 2013), (Rantatalo & Karp, 2016), (Kohlström, Rantatalo, Karp, Padyab, 2017) among other publications. He is also chair of the board of Police Education at Umeå University, Sweden.

Ulrika Widding
Ulrika Widding, PhD and Associated Professor at the Department of Education, Umeå University. She has done studies on the making of an identity as a student (Widding, 2005), parental education: (Widding, 2011A, 2011B), parental support: (Widding & Olsson, 2013), the Convention on the Rights of the Child: (Olsson & Widding, 2010, Widding & Olsson, 2014), among other publications.
  • Abstract

      This article discusses the rarely investigated learning processes of Swedish intra-professional police educators: police teachers, police supervisors and police field training officers. Through the interpretation of three interview studies conducted from a theoretical perspective of experiential learning, reflection and meaning-making, a new understanding of professional development as viewed through the eyes of an educator emerges. The findings exemplify how the empowerment of positive, reflexive and creative intentions amongst intra-professional police educators can be seen as an important component of preparing new police officers as well as developing the Swedish police force. Moreover, it will be implied that this particular process is driven by both intrinsic (the internal drive of the educators) and extrinsic (the educational context of the Swedish police) forces.

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