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Learning to Become a Professional in a Textually-Mediated World

A Text-Oriented Study of Placement Practices

Series:

Ken Lau

The book presents a text-based study of discourse practices in placement, a hybrid zone which re-contextualises academic knowledge and professional practices. Using Lave and Wenger’s Communities of Practice as the overarching theoretical framework, the study investigates how novices learn to write like their professional counterparts. By collecting texts completed in various placement contexts and in-depth qualitative interviews with informants, the study features a multi-dimensional approach to the analysis of discourse practices in terms of text construction and text consumption. The issues of genre, feedback, identity and role associated with placement learning are brought into focus.

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Contents Acknowledgements ............................................................................ 11 1. Rethinking Learning ....................................................................... 13 1.1. Motivation of the current study .............................................. 15 1.2 Scope of the current study and research questions ................. 16 1.3 Significance of the current study ............................................ 18 1.4 Organisation of the book ........................................................ 19 2. Positioning the Study ...................................................................... 21 2.1. From writing-to-learn to learning-to-write ............................. 22 2.1.1. Writing-to-learn and WAC movements ....................... 23 2.1.2. Learning-to-write and WID ......................................... 25 2.2. Views of knowledge and learning .......................................... 26 2.2.1. Communities of practice .............................................. 29 2.2.1.1. Concept of practice .............................................. 31 2.2.1.2. Practices as the sources of coherence .................. 32 2.2.1.3. Participation and reification ................................. 34 2.2.1.4. CoP, identities and roles ...................................... 34 2.2.1.5. Enculturation ........................................................ 35 2.3. Theoretical framework and research niche ............................. 36 2.4. Communities of practice and writing ..................................... 36 2.4.1. Discourse and discourse practices ............................... 37 2.4.2. Workplace discourse studies ....................................... 38 2.4.3. Discourse practices, identities and roles in workplace .... 40 2.4.4. Expert-novice exchanges in workplace ....................... 41 2.4.5. Reflective writing and reflective practice in workplace .. 43 2.5. Genre studies ......................................................................... 45 2.6. Systemic-functional perspectives ........................................... 46 2.6.1. Ideational/experiential meaning .................................. 49 2.6.2. Interpersonal meaning ................................................. 51 2.6.2.1. EVALUATION framework ..................................... 53 2.7. Concluding remarks ............................................................... 54 3. Methodology and Research Design ................................................ 57 3.1. Purposive sampling ................................................................ 58 3.2. The informants ....................................................................... 58 3.3. Nature of the five disciplines .................................................. 61 3.3.1. Social work .................................................................. 61 3.3.2. Health Sciences (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Radiography and Nursing) ........................... 62 3.3.3. Problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum .................. 64 3.4. Searching for epistemological sites ........................................ 66 3.5. Data generation from texts ..................................................... 69 3.5.1. Corpus analysis ............................................................ 71 3.6. Data generation from interviews ............................................ 71 3.7. Research design and schedule ................................................ 74 3.7.1. Pilot study .................................................................... 75 3.7.2. Main study – preparation stage .................................... 75...

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