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Title: Diving for pearls : an exploration of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource in complex professional learning
Author: Ince, Amanda Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 3354
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This study explores cognitive dissonance as an educative resource in complex professional learning. Cognitive dissonance is an elusive phenomenon but one which is experienced by many adult learners as they engage in professional development. Research suggests harnessing the range of emotions felt from experiencing cognitive dissonance and using it as an educative resource can be a positive approach in complex professional learning. However, facilitators of professional learning appear to find it challenging to identify characteristics of cognitive dissonance and recognise it as it occurs within learners. There is little guidance to be found on how facilitators might make most effective use of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource to support transformative learning. An exploratory case study was adopted to investigate how cognitive dissonance was recognised and experienced by learners and facilitated by tutors engaged in an intensive literacy intervention professional development programme. Data were analysed using a grounded theory approach within a theoretical sampling frame to create a conceptual model of how cognitive dissonance was experienced by learners, recognised and utilised by facilitators as an educative resource. This study identified characteristics and features of cognitive dissonance that may support facilitators in recognising and harnessing it as it occurs. Study of facilitators' skills in recognising and managing cognitive dissonance within the professional learning environment revealed a complex relationship between their observational acuity, experience in role and personal commitment to critical reflection. Conscious decision making by the facilitator within a learning environment that supports risk taking creates more effective use of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource.
Supervisor: Burroughs-Lange, S. ; Taylor, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available