Harrison, Roger; Edwards, Richard and Brown, Jonathan
Crash test dummies or knowledgeable practitioners?: Evaluating the impact of professional development.
British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 29(2) pp. 199–211.
This paper draws on the authors' experience of developing and presenting an Open University Masters level course: Guidance and Counselling in Learning. Questions of 'who is the audience?' and 'what is the model of professional development?' are explored, surfacing the diversity of contexts for guidance practices and the assumptions about the relationship between theory and practice which are embedded in various approaches to professional development. The discursive approach adopted by the course team, involving students in processes of 'mapping', 'locating' and 'translating' in and between discourses of guidance, is outlined, suggesting that this provides a means of finessing the traditional theory-practice binary. A small-scale evaluation of the impact of studying the course was carried out on a sample of the first cohort of students. Data from this are used to illustrate some effects of the discursive approach on the ways in which students talk about their learning and their practice.
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