Developing manual handling skills in relative social isolation: A case study of Australian home care workers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 2018, 24 (1), pp. 37 - 57
Issue Date:
2018-05-01
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. This paper elaborates how home care workers develop skills in their workplaces after only brief classroom manual handling training and suggests how this development may be supported in situations of relative social isolation. A qualitative approach was adopted for this inquiry, in which new home care workers were directly observed and interviewed in their workplaces at two points over a 12-week predetermined training trajectory. When developing skills in their socially isolated workplaces, these workers followed a pathway that differs from traditional accounts. They developed procedural capacities first, rendered this knowledge and skill into principled understandings and then adapted these understandings to become skillful in a range of other tasks. Moreover, these workers placed high value on sociality in developing their skills. Consequently, a training format which focuses on the development of procedural knowledge and provides opportunities for shared practice is most important for learning in circumstances of relative social isolation.
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