The Use of Co-operative inquiry in developing an inter-professional model of learning Project co-ordinators: Valentine Scarlett; School of Education, Social Work and Community Education University of Dundee Robert Muirhead; School of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Midwifery University of Dundee
Basic theme : to explore how students, from different professions might prepare for collaboration in the work place
Three elements that seem essential
to enable collaborative working
Respect for and understanding of each other’s roles
Sharing of knowledge, values, responsibility, visions and outcomes
(Henneman et al 1995)
Why Co-operative Inquiry?
‘ all those involved in the research endeavour are both co-researchers…and co-subjects’
All involved were engaged in a critically reflective analysis of their practice alongside others through the use of Double Loop Testing
(Agyris and Schon 1974 cited Redmond 2006)
Two 3 hour workshops:
15 paediatric nursing students
36 social work students
Workshop one: PP with discussion
Workshop Two: tutor enabled group discussions
Based on questionnaires and open debate at end of session 1
Main outcome; Group based exploration of themes more effective
PN ; 25% (2/8) PN ; 85% (11/13)
SW ; 58% (21/36) SW ; 96% ( 25/26)
Respect / understanding roles
PN ; 50% (4/8) PN ; 92% (12/13)
SW ; 94% (34/36) SW ; 88% (23/26)
Sharing knowledge, values
responsibility, visions, outcomes
PN ; 62.5% (5/8) PN ; 92% (12/13)
SW ; 97% (35/36) SW ; 96% (25/26)
Co operative Inquiry : Was it effective as a method of research?
Co-operative Inquiry is highly collaborative but it was difficult to engage the students and tutors from the beginning. Once the process was under way the students were keen to inform the process on their terms
The inquiry mirrors what we are trying to enable the students to do i.e. work in partnership with each other and service users but it does bring to light the possible difficulties e.g.. others perception of what you are doing, time constraints, differing priorities, to name but a few
What Learning did we take forward into the next cycle of our inquiry in terms of how we researched and evidenced our work with the students?
We recognised that what we had done was a piece of Action Research.
Lewin described action research ‘as a way of generating knowledge about a social system while, at the same time, attempting to change it ’
(Lewin, 1945,cited Drummond and Themessl-Huber)
We were in effect doing the same,
To understand the process of interprofessional learning and to continue to learn about it
To change the process to suit the needs of the students,and the university
From Buchy and Ahmed 2007 , Argyris and Schon (1974)
have also conceptualized learning processes as a succession of learning loops
where the learner moves from following the rules
( single loop) to changing the rules (double loop) to eventually learning
about learning (triple loop learning). Critical reflection is essential to move
between the loops.
learning is a dynamic process where the learners constantly critically revisit
their actions to adjust their behaviour and thoughts. And eventually this is how
one reaches ‘transformative learning’ defined by Mezirow as:
the process by which we transform our taken for granted frames of
reference (meaning, perspectives, habits of mind, mind sets) to make
them more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of
change, and reflective so that they may generate beliefs and opinion that
will prove more true or justified to guide action .
(Mezirow, J. (2000) p. 8)
So what did we learn and how did it impact on and transform our practice It is still early days BUT for starters
We ran the two sessions in one day
We still did a PP BUT it was much reduced and the students worked in small groups at key points and fed back discussion points
The small groups were self facilitated with regular visits from the tutors
The students were asked to comment on the learning process
Outcomes to date………..
Buchy M ( Institute of Social Studies The Netherlands )and Ahmed S ( IIM(A) Campus India (2007) Social Learning, Academics and NGO’s. Can the collaborative formula work . Action Research Vol 5(4): 358-377. LA, London, New Delhi, Singapore. SAGE
Drummond J and Themessl-Huber M University of Dundee(2007) The Cyclical Process of Action Research. The contribution of Gilles Deleuze . Action Research. Vol 5(4):430-448. LA, London, New Delhi, Singapore. SAGE
Henneman Elizabeth A., Lee Jan L., Cohen Joan I. (1995)
Collaboration: a concept analysis . Journal of Advanced Nursing. Volume 21
Issue 1 Page 103-109, January 1995
Reason P 1999. Integrating Action and Reflection through Co-operative Inquiry.
Management Learning, Vol 30, No 2, 207-255, 1999, Sage Publications
Redmond B. (2006) Reflection in Action. Developing reflective practice in Health and Social Services. Aldershot. Burlington. Ashgate