Regeneration tools: suggestions from research

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation


This presentation is drawn from a larger research study being undertaken for a doctoral award. With the purpose of narrating the collective story of placement-based learning, and paying particular interest to symbolic growth experiences (Frick, 1987) associated with their changing identity, the research had the intent of informing SC placement pedagogy. The objectives of the research were threefold:
1. Identify tasks, activities, relationships, and perspectives which ‘hook’ or ‘rebuff’ students’ sense of becoming a social care worker;
2. Consider how these ‘hooks’ and ‘rebuffs’ influence students’ sense of “becoming” a social care worker; and
3. Infer socio-cultural becoming narratives held within individual stories of symbolic growth.
Taking an inter-subjective perspective, the research is situated within the constructionist paradigm (Alvesson, and Sköldberg, 2009). Involving 13 participants from four social care work education provides, all participants were interviewed after their first and second placement which they undertook as part of a full-time BA or BA (Hons) during the academic years 2014 - 2016. Following an interest in socio-cultural learning and learning to be a professional of a certain (Dellgram, and Hӧjer, 2005) kind through legitimate peripheral participation (Lave and Wenger, 1991), interview dialogue focused on placement-based experienced that were identified as significant to participants’ sense of becoming a SCW. Structured using Labov and Waletzky (1967) elements of story, narrative analysis (Reissman, 2009; Clandinan, 2013) identified two becoming narratives: enculturation and disentanglement, mentorship meta-narrative and a prohibited participation counter-narrative. From a socio-cultural learning perspective (Lave and Wenger, 1991), placement is a key site of regeneration of members of SCW, that provide pedagogical rich (Billett, 2011) activities for students to learn SCW practice and be enculturated into the profession. This presentation is based on a synthesised thematic analysis (Silverman, 2011) of narratives to identify cognitive (enculturation, mentorship, concentric vortex of activity) and practical tools (gradation of tasks, conversation, availability, development focused feedback) that facilitated participants sense of becoming a SCW.
Implications: The results have a number of socio-cultural implications for SCW as a profession consolidating its sociological professional status. Firstly, field-based it consolidates practice educators as SCW “institutional functionar[ies]” (Berger and Luckmann, 1966, p.160). Entrusted with the task of assessing the safety and autonomy of SCW’s new members (CORU, 2017a and 2017b) this presentation implies a socio-cultural learning perspective as a more fruitful cognitive tool than a cognitive based learning perspective for professional regeneration. Secondly, results have implications regarding socio-cultural learning ‘tools’
Ethical approval was gained from the REC of Sligo IT prior to carrying out interviews.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020
EventAnnual Social Care Ireland Conference.: Enhancing your practice: building your tool kit - on-line
Duration: 11 Oct 202114 Oct 2021


ConferenceAnnual Social Care Ireland Conference.


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