Seeing is Believing: An Embodied Pedagogy of ‘Doing Partnership’ in Child and Family Health

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Professional and Practice-based Learning, 2012, 8 pp. 267 - 276
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© 2012, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. This chapter examines a set of practices associated with ‘doing partnership’ between health professionals and users or clients of a health service, and how these practices are developed and enacted. In particular, the chapter considers the pedagogical work involved in practising partnership. Partnership practice is an example of a broad set of moves within the human service sector to shift the balance of power, capacity and responsibility from a provider-consumer relationship to one of engaging the service user in building forms of co-production. The particular focus of this chapter is a case study of a programme of extended home visiting by child and family health nurses to mothers experiencing postnatal depression. We draw on this study to elaborate an account of pedagogical practices that require new relational configurations of practitioner attention, focus and activity whereby participants learn to ‘do partnership’. We are interested in understanding, in the light of strong international policy consensus supporting the development and deployment of partnership forms of practice, what is involved for both parties, what is produced through the relationships developed between providers and consumers, how both professionals and consumers mobilise new capacities for action, new kinds of power relations and new subjectivities in the encounter. An argument is developed for richer conceptualisations both of professional practice and of practice change in relation to notions of pedagogy and of professional learning, taking into explicit account the enactment of these new relational complexities.
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