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Evolving theory for better practice:


Evolving theory for better practice: Preliminary outcomes of a UK Economics and Social Research Council seminar series on IPE Sarah Hean Bournemouth University, UK – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Evolving theory for better practice:

Evolving theory for better practice
  • Preliminary outcomes of a UK Economics and Social
    Research Council seminar series on IPE
  • Sarah Hean Bournemouth University, UK
  • Hugh Barr CAIPE
  • Marilyn Hammick CAIPE
  • Margaret Miers University of West of England, UK
  • Eloise Carr Bournemouth University, UK
  • Martin Hind Bournemouth University, UK
  • Claire Dickinson Newcastle University, UK
  • Cath OHalloran University of Huddersfield, UK
  • Alan Borthwick University of Southampton, UK
  • Deborah Craddock University of Southampton, UK

Current position
  • Antipathy, lack of underpinning in educational
    and professional practice, where used, lack of
    clear application
  • Not theory less
  • Evidence from conference (theories of team
    working, power, relationships between IPL and
    PBL, clinical micro systems, human systems
  • Inductive creation of theory and deductive
    testing of theory (lens) (Paul Batalden)
  • Deductive
  • Have turned to other disciplines, mainly
    sociology, psychology and education, for theories
    that may have utility in IPE,
  • e.g. contact theory, social identity theory,
    activity theory and adult educational theories.
  • Superabundance of theories of potential use in
    IPE research.
  • Structure provided by several authors Clark,
    2006, Colyer et al.2006 Barr et al. 2005

Aim of seminar series
  • Consolidation exercise
  • Develop an overview of the multitude of theory
  • Compare and contrast theories
  • Establish consensus on theoretical priorities in
    future IPE research
  • Deductive rather than inductive exercise
  • Developmental exercise
  • Evolve prioritised key theories through
    discussion of potential application and testing
    in interprofessional education and research
  • Promotional exercise
  • Emphasise theoretical underpinnings of IPE and
    research to improve quality of the research and
  • Improve accessibility and utility of theories for
    the practitioner (bridge the gap)

  • Networking exercise
  • Bring together expertise of educators and
    researchers from range of health and social care
    (HSC) education and psycho-social disciplines, to
    create forum through which researchers can
    debate, share, develop and strengthen research
    evidence base surrounding IPE

Encourage cross fertilisation of ideas, improve
communication between practitioners, researchers
within health/social care and other disciplines
(specifically those of sociology, psychology and
education). Encourage new collaborations and
networks between HSC and the education,
psychology and social science disciplines.
Seminar 1 Theoretical perspectives on
Interprofessional education plethora and
  • 3 discussion papers, based on the classification
    presented by Barr et al. (2005) drew from the
    theory traditions of
  • Education The application of contemporary
    learning theories in the field of IPE
    behaviourist, constructivist, adult learning
    theories (Hean, Craddock, OHalloran)
  • Social psychology Theories of social identity
    and the contact hypothesis as applied to IPE
    (Dickinson and Hind)
  • Sociology Key transitions influencing and
    affecting by interprofessional learning
    professional socialisation, workforce transition,
    interprofessionalism and knowledge in transition
    (Miers, Hammick, Borthwick, Carr)

Seminar format
  • How can we make this a creative process?
  • Combined format of presentation followed by group
    work to explore application of theories to
    educational and professional practice.
  • Consensus
  • Before
  • The perspective they bring to IPE (research,
    educator, practitioner)
  • What they hoped to learn from seminar
  • What they felt about theory in IPE
  • How could IPE theory be developed in future
  • After
  • Key areas of learning
  • Theories most useful
  • Application to personal working context
  • Reflection

  • an academic exercise
  • people interested in theory
  • want to learn more about theories with which
    already familiar and consider new theoretical
  • to better understand processes within IPE.
  • want to be involved in developing, prioritising
    and moving theory forward.
  • a practical exercise
  • must have utility, not theory for theorys sake.
  • theory important to improve educational and
    professional practice, but not being used
    sufficiently to underpin educational
    practices/curriculum development. Enthusiasm for
    theory limited to interested few.
  • Theory as a political tool
  • use theory to defend/effect changes to these
    practices in the face of entrenched views and/or
    resistance to change.
  • Issues
  • how can theory be applied to help professional
    practice, educational practice (e.g. developing
    curricula or research).
  • Theoretical developments overly focused on
    academic arena at expense of practice arena.

  • overwhelmed with the number of theories imported
    into the field
  • need to focus on key theories. Plethora confuse
    practitioners especially if seen as potentially
  • plethora as positive, a potential toolbox or
    eclectic from which to choose theoretical tools
    relevant in different contexts.
  • Other participants did not recognize
    overabundance of available theory and felt that
    they continually used the same theories in their
    IPE work and needed to broaden their horizons and
    consider others.

Way ahead
  • Review and clarify what is already known about
    theory in IPE
  • Identify where research/theory gaps currently
  • Clear research objectives/programmes
  • Test the application of key theoretical
  • Developing a community able to work together and
    share their experiences of developing theory and
    its application
  • The nature of people open mindedness,
    interdisciplinary, the ability to embrace
  • Dissemination of these theoretical developments
    from grass roots, i.e. teachers in local
    universities, to international audiences.
  • Development of IPE theory by a few academics in
    isolation from educationalists and HSC
    professionals unhelpful. Practitioners and
    educationalists to move forward in parallel to
    develop mutual understanding of the nature and
    usefulness of IPE theory.

  • Not yet possible to identify any key theory that
    took precedence over others.
  • Prioritisation of particular theories may not be
    a realistic aim because
  • One theory does not fit all contexts (no magic
  • Different respondents preferred different
    theories, based on own interest and familiarity.
  • Some express a clear preferences
  • others found this difficult, finding all theory
    presented interesting. Enjoyed opportunity to
    learn more about a diversity of theories
    available to add to theoretical toolboxes and
    found the overviews of current theories useful.
  • Theories in which the social context of
    learning and working is
  • recognised are key. E.g., activity theory and
    socio-cultural learning
  • took precedence over other learning theories. It
    is this nature of this component that
    differentiates interprofessional from
    uniprofessional learning.

  • ESRC Funding raises profile of IPE in UK as a
    field in which rigorous research is required/is
    taking place
  • Theories not mutually exclusive Overlap between
    the sociological, educational and psycho-social
  • Not all theories introduced into IPE would or
    could have been covered in seminar. Limited
    resources means we need to direct these towards
    priority areas, their synthesis, comparison and
    application (see power, team working skills
    earlier on in conference).
  • There was also a need to connect theory more
    strongly with policy and political perspectives
    in future seminars (frame in policy maker speak
    John Gilbert).
  • How can theory and future seminars could engage
    with these conservative and transformative
    agendas (see Squaring the circle Hugh Barr).

Future seminars
  • Remaining seminars will focusing resources on a
    few key theories and aiming to explore the value,
    usefulness and practical application of these
    theories in greater detail.
  • Need to go beyond the single sentence our work
    is underpinned by theory x with no in depth
    description how.
  • Evidence at conference that some people have very
    successfully applied and tested, e,g, Paul
    Batalden microsystems Esther Suter, human
    systems theory underpinning methods of evaluation

Seminar Title Date Location
Seminar 2Prioritised theories from sociology and dynamic/social psychology (contact hypothesis team dynamics) John Carpenter, Ann Scott 27 June 2008 Newcastle University, UK
Seminar 3Prioritised theories from education (stage theory in interprofessional development activity theory, CoP and socio cultural learning) Philip Clark, Yrjo Engestrom 5 Dec 2008 University of West of England, UK
SymposiumEvolving theory in interprofessional education ? synthesis inductive approaches 26 June 2009 Bournemouth, UK
Theoretical network your participation
  • Which ever direction theoretical development
    takes in the future, clear that sustaining the
    community of academics and practitioners brought
    together in the seminar series is essential.
  • We invite international and national colleagues
    to participate in future seminars of the ESRC
    series, and events that lead from this, to
    develop IPE theory that is both rigorous and
    useful to practice.
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