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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Reflexivity and the process of maturation of students in a work-based learning programme
Author(s): Chepelin , Evgueni
Supervisor(s): Watson, Cate
I'Anson, John
Keywords: work-based learning
higher education
personal development
Bourdieusian analysis
morphogenetic approach
vocational education
adult learning
Issue Date: Sep-2017
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis presents the outcomes of a five-year ethnographic research project of a work-based learning programme, the BA in Social Pedagogy (hereafter, the BA), which was provided in partnership with a university by a residential school for vulnerable children and young people (hereafter, the School) to its workers. The aim of the research was to develop an understanding of how the organisational fields of the School influenced learning practices and identities of workers undertaking the BA (hereafter, students). Two theoretical frameworks, of Pierre Bourdieu and Margaret Archer, were applied consecutively in the analysis of collected data. Bourdieu’s theory of practice, applied first, allowed an investigation of the conditioning by the School’s organisational fields of students’ dispositions and actions, as well as of a function of the BA in the mechanism of social reproduction of the School’s communities. Limitations of Bourdieu’s theoretical framework in examining students’ personal transformations in the course of their work and studies prompted a turn to Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach and theories of reflexivity and personal development. Re-analysis of collected data indicated that the expansion of the BA curriculum triggered and then sustained cultural and structural changes in the School. Such changes created enabling conditions for the process of maturation of students, with the BA educational practices and School work practices facilitating this process. This research project contributes to the field of applied sociological studies. Firstly, it develops an explanatory theory of processes at a work-based learning programme and its hosting institution. Secondly, it demonstrates that Archer’s theoretical framework presents methodological and analytical advantages, compared to Bourdieu’s theory of practice, for the investigation of social phenomena both on the level of an institution and on the level of individual actors, in particular when the institution undergoes cultural and structural changes and the individuals are progressing in their maturational development.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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