Professional Learning as Attuning, Connecting and Sensitising

Springer International Publishing
Publication Type:
Professional and Practice-based Learning, 2016, 15, pp. 269-304
Issue Date:
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© 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. This chapter takes up the ideas presented in Part II—times, spaces, bodies, and things as essential dimensions of professional practice and learning. The focus here is specifically on how professionals learning about, from and with the people they are there to help (in this case, families with young children), and each other. The chapter begins by laying out a distinctive conceptualisation of professional learning in practice. This sees learning and practice as entangled, but asymmetrically related. The idea of learning as involving the production, maintenance, restoration, repair and modification of textures is presented. These concepts are then entangled with empirical data, furthering the conceptualisation of attuning (introduced in Part II), and showing how learning performs crucial connecting and sensitising functions, through textural and epistemic work. A focus on handover practices reveals details of these ideas, and also provides a platform to explore professional learning in practice as choreographed to varying degrees. The whole chapter is framed in terms of the intensification of learning imperatives associated with partnership-based approaches to professional practice. The need to learn as a part of practice, and the need to act amid conditions of uncertain, incomplete and ambiguous knowledge is also highlighted. The chapter shows how a sociomaterial approach, combined with the novel framework presented here, offers valuable insights into challenges associated with contemporary professional practice.
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