Negotiating humanising pedagogies for bridging theory and practice

Authors: Hutchings, M.

Start date: 12 April 2016

This paper considers the ‘mediating mechanisms’ at work in negotiating pedagogies for bridging learning spaces between theory and practice by examining the relationships between curriculum content, facilitation and learner-focused engagement with distinct forms of knowledge to guide practice. The context is a humanising transprofessional curriculum mediated by a lifeworld-led philosophy and ‘flipped pedagogy’ for transformative learning enabled by technologies. Students are introduced to three dimensions of knowledge to connect them to humanising practices and facilitate bridging processes between theory and practice. Knowledge for the ‘heart’, represented through arts and humanities materials and qualitative research, draws on people’s stories, poetry and drama. Knowledge for the ‘head, conventional technical knowledge, is provided through qualitative and quantitative research papers and practice protocols. Knowledge for the head and for the heart form the core content for scaffolded learning spaces where students develop their knowledge for the ‘hand’, the art and science of making connections to their own personaland professional experiences and integrating understandings about these different kinds of knowledge to enable them to develop research awareness and empathic imagination for judgement-based practice. Student evaluations are used to illustrate responses to engaging with distinct ways of ‘knowing’ for ‘being’. Bridging theory and practice require new theoretical and practical approaches to curriculum design that enable concepts such as ‘use of self’, ‘trusting the process’, and ‘tapping into the empathic imagination’ to be foregrounded. Realising learner-focused engagement with these distinct forms of knowing can promote a more holistic, connected and integrated approach to education for practice.

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