Praxis and reflexivity for interprofessional education: towards an inclusive theoretical framework for learning

This source preferred by Maggie Hutchings

Authors: Hutchings, M., Scammell, J. and Quinney, A.

Journal: Journal of Interprofessional Care

Volume: 27

Issue: 5

Pages: 358-366

eISSN: 1469-9567

ISSN: 1356-1820

DOI: 10.3109/13561820.2013.784729

While there is growing evidence of theoretical perspectives adopted in interprofessional education, learning theories tend to foreground the individual, focusing on psycho-social aspects of individual differences and professional identity to the detriment of considering social-structural factors at work in social practices. Conversely socially situated practice is criticised for being context-specific, making it difficult to draw generalisable conclusions for improving interprofessional education. This paper builds on a theoretical framework derived from earlier research, drawing on the dynamics of Dewey’s experiential learning theory and Archer’s critical realist social theory, to make a case for a meta-theoretical framework enabling social constructivist and situated learning theories to be interlinked and integrated through praxis and reflexivity. Our current analysis is grounded in an interprofessional curriculum initiative mediated by a virtual community peopled by health and social care users. Student perceptions, captured through quantitative and qualitative data, suggest three major disruptive themes, creating opportunities for congruence and disjuncture and generating a model of zones of interlinked praxis associated with professional differences and identity, pedagogic strategies and technology mediated approaches. This model contributes to a framework for understanding the complexity of interprofessional learning and offers bridges between individual and structural factors for engaging with the enablements and constraints at work in communities of practice and networks for interprofessional education.

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