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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Jigsaws and Jugglers: Disposition, Discourse, and Decision-making in the Assessment of Student Nurse Practice
Authors: Dawson, Kevin Patrick
Supervisor(s): Allan, Julie
Issue Date: Jun-2006
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This research is concerned with the assessment of student nurses' practice, implementation of which has been considered problematic since the move of initial training into higher education. It examines clinical nurses' accounts of assessment, and rejects an approach based on identification of competencies as too rationalistic for a situated practice. Insights from, in particular, Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida were used to analyse practitioners' alternative discourse of practice, and the processes of self-constitution and decision-making. Eighteen practitioners from different settings were interviewed in depth about how they determine acceptable performance. Three participants were interviewed twice to develop ideas arising from the first round of conversations. Practitioners' accounts challenged the conventional understanding of assessment, and the construction of practice implicit in current policy. The analysis suggests a more fluid, un-predetermined understanding, characterised by hesitation and uncertainty, though without losing a concern with safe practice. Several implications for policy and practice are presented. These require a shift of authority towards practitioners' situated judgements and away from predetermined outcomes, both in respect of programme planning and policy guidelines on the specification of standards. A new alliance is proposed to encourage a more authentic engagement with the process from both clinical and educational practitioners.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Education

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