Learning as participation in the development and enactment of professional knowledge
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The award was used to fund a study set in the context of a new Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) programme and was aimed at: identifying significant relationships between people and contexts that impact upon the development of new professional knowledge; understanding how such development is related to the intended pedagogy and associated sites of learning of the EdD programme (e.g. the university, the workplace and a virtual teaching environment; dissemination and knowledge exchange about these findings within the pedagogic research arena. Background to project: The (EdD) is founded on the principle that: by bringing academic and research skills to bear on professional practice we can improve it … Knowledge is considered in relation to its usefulness rather than its truth [and] the relation between what is known and how it is known is emphasised. (EdD programme handbook, p.9. Investigating the nature of an EdD programme on the development of individuals’ knowledge is not new (Scott, Brown, Lunt, & Thorne, 2004) and is, in many ways, well documented. However, previous research (e.g. Taylor, 2008) has tended to start with aspects of university pedagogy, and/or the structure (Bourner et al, 2001) and philosophy of the programme itself, in relation to student learning. Whereas previous studies have investigated what professional knowledge resulting from EdDs ‘looks like’, the intention here was to focus on how such knowledge is developed through students’ interaction within and between the various sites of the programme – the university, the workplace and a virtual teaching environment. Because the project and the EdD itself are founded on the development of innovative pedagogy and its relationship with professional work-place practice, both are firmly rooted in many of the key themes of the university T&L strategy. In particular, the focus was on: KTs 1, 2 & 3 – the project is focused directly on how learning is centred on, and personal to, the way in which individuals interact with university, work place and virtual environment, and the manner in which a UoP programme can support the needs of the professional workplace in enterprising ways. KT 4 – the essence of the EdD is the relationship between research and practice development and the project directly explores this liaison and its enactment across different sites. KTs 7, 9 & 10 – the EdD is a high quality PPD programme drawing on and strengthening links with regional partners and providing access to professionally focused D-level study. The project will strengthen our understanding of how its teaching and learning is ‘distributed’ across multiple sites, including Technology Enhanced Learning.
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