Students’ responses to theory: An FD case study

Reeve, Fiona; Curran, Sheila; Harrison, Roger and Benjamin, Cathy (2010). Students’ responses to theory: An FD case study. In: SRHE Annual Research Conference 2010, 14-16 Dec 2010, Newport.



This paper will report on a small qualitative case study which explored the professional formation of students on a work-based learning course. These students were studying part-time to become professionally qualified youth workers and were already working or volunteering in the field. Drawing on interviews with students and their employers nine months after completion of the WBL course we will map some of the ways in which they consider participation has influenced their understanding of the field and their approach to their work. Contrary to expectations, our own and those in the professional literature, we found that students placed considerable value on the contribution of theory. In some cases this had led to significant changes in perspective, leading them to question their own practices and those of colleagues. While some had encountered resistance others had the autonomy to change their practices during and after the course.

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