What is the vision for this profession? Learning environments of health visitors in an English city

Jewson, Nick, Unwin, Lorna, Felstead, Alan, Fuller, Alison and Kakavelakis, Konstantinos (2008) What is the vision for this profession? Learning environments of health visitors in an English city. Cardiff, Wales, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, 30pp. (Learning as Work Research Paper, 14).


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This paper discusses the attempts by a group of health visitors in a provincial English city to reform their working practices in order to work more collaboratively and, hence, create a more expansive learning environment. The health visitors self-consciously sought to create a ‘community of practice’, a term they felt captured their ambition to move away from the historical conception of health visitors as professionals
working largely on their own but under the direction of others. The paper shows that the outcomes of the health visitors’ attempts to engineer changes to their work organisation were shaped by the constraints and opportunities offered by their relationships with a diverse and fragmented network of fellow professionals, including other health visitors, doctors,
managers and personnel from other social care agencies. Our analysis contextualises the uncertain development of discretion and trust in the work organization of health visitors within the broader horizontal and vertical relationships of the productive system in which they are embedded. The paper argues that, whilst much was achieved and considerable learning took place, the group’s vision was ultimately unsustainable due to the characteristics of the wider productive system.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Lifelong and Work-Related Learning
ePrint ID: 63793
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
April 2008Published
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:48
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63793

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