This article draws on empirical data from research into a British police recruit training programme to put forward a theory of how police recruits learn. Official accounts of learning in British police training are premised on the assumption that learning is an individualised process based on 'common sense' notions of acquisition and transfer. However, these accounts fail to acknowledge both the socially situated aspect to police learning, as well as the relationship between learning and identity. Drawing on recent theorising from the field of education, as well as the authors own study of police officers undertaking community placements, it is argued that learning is a process of 'becoming'. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
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