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Deconstructing reflective practice as a model of professional knowledge in nursing education

Comer, Moya (2013) Deconstructing reflective practice as a model of professional knowledge in nursing education. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

The knowledge needed for nursing practice has long been a contested and divisive issue among nursing scholars and nurse practitioners. Professional knowledge in nursing is recognised as complex and multifaceted, drawing on many different sources. Throughout the history of modern nursing, as the profession attempted to establish itself as a discipline in its own right, various movements in the development of nursing knowledge may be identified. From an earlier era of grand theories to evidence-based practice in more recent times, the nature, origins and scope of nursing knowledge remains a source of on-going debate and discussion. Reflective practice has proved to be a very popular model of professional knowledge in nursing since it first appeared in the literature in the 1980s. Its appeal for nursing may be understood in its valuing of practice knowledge and the possibility of generating knowledge from practice. However, despite the appeal of reflection as an epistemology of practice in nursing education, the term is understood in many different and sometimes contradictory ways. This aim of this study is to examine the textual construction of reflective practice as a model of professional knowledge in nursing education. Since knowledge in many disciplines is textually mediated, a consideration of the language in which knowledge claims are made seems apposite when a concept is contested. Deconstruction consists in a close reading of texts, not with the aim of understanding the meaning of a text but with the aim of understanding how meaning is constructed, in particular, the resources of language that are used and the effects thereby created. This deconstructive reading reveals a concept that never fully coincides with itself. Reflective practice as a model of professional knowledge in nursing education is never punctually present in the texts that strive to construct its identity. The identity of reflective practice appears deeply saturated by its so-called binary opposite. Such a reading does not claim to be the "truth" of reflective practice. It does, however, permit the concept to be considered and understood in a different way and that, I should contend, is what reflective practice is all about.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education, 2013.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:52
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2015 13:49
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