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Title: Understanding support worker learning : practice, participation and identity
Author: Kubiak, Christopher David
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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A better understanding of support worker learning is needed. Role extension, an increasing awareness of the sophistication of caring practice and the need to develop the esteem of the sector have all made the professional development of support workers a priority for the health and social care sector. Drawing on situated and sociocultural leaming theories, this research investigated the way in which workplace participatory opportunities, affordances and individual identification shape support worker learning. Ethnographic and grounded theory methods were used. Fourteen support workers from both health and social care participated in repeated interviews over a number of months. Seven were observed in practice. Workplace manager's were also interviewed. It was found that participants established a sense of value and esteem by emphasising the significance of their work. They considered their capability as resting upon three foundations - practical experience, natural ability and knowledge of the service user. Thee domains of practice were described - development and well being-focused activities, relationship work and building an understanding of service users. Practice was a subjective and situational reconstruction. Practice-based learning was a multimodal process arising out of workplace participatory opportunities. These participatory opportunities interact to structure, support or provoke learning activities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral