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Title: Biographical landscapes : nurses' and health visitors' narratives of learning and professional practice
Author: Volante, Margaret Ann
ISNI:       0000 0001 3549 0191
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2005
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The thesis illuminates biography, learning and practice and advances understanding of the development of professional knowledge and practice. The purpose of the research was to inform the pedagogical development of practice learning using a biographical perspective to investigate how nurses and health visitors use professional practice experiences to learn and generate knowledge and understandings of practice. The research is set within the healthcare policy context of lifelong and lifewide learning. The literature review builds on my own experiences. An argument is developed for practice learning to be located within a universal knowledge system that provides for the subjective and contextual complexity of nursing practice knowledge and learning. The research strategy is grounded in the theoretical perspectives of interpretive phenomenology and interaction ism. Nine specialist community nurses and health visitors participated in the life story interview of biographical narrative interpretive method. Three transcripts were selected for in-depth analysis of subjective meanings of learning and professional practice. Case comparison of biographical process structures shows how biographies construct a resource for ways of knowing the world that is incorporated into professional agency. Five profiles of formal practice learning were accessible for documentary and textual analysis. Two patterns of orientation were reconstructed from this analysis: a learning practice constituted as a process of identifying and meeting learning needs through client-centred practice and public institutions constituted as a process of support and self-surveillance of the formal learning programme. These mirror biographical learning resources which seem to both construct professional knowledge and constitute the practice learning action environment. Discourse analysis of accounts of client care situations from follow-up narrative interviews with four nurses and two health visitors showed continuity of how individuals learn and do the process of knowing practice through their own personal theories-of-practice. Thematic analysis across the findings has led to the creation of a model of biography, learning and practice and utilises the concept of biographicity to inform pedagogical development of practice learning. The research makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge on implicit, non-formal and formal learning and the development of professional knowledge at a micro practice action level of client-professional interaction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available