Professional learning in the everyday provision of self-management support: situated knowledge and the problem with generic skills development


  • Sarah Doyle Edinburgh Napier University



Supporting people to self-manage long-term conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, is a concern for health-care providers globally. Despite continued attention being paid to the production of educational resources for workforce development nationally and internationally, reports have highlighted that we do not yet know how to best help health-care professionals learn to undertake this work. This article employs sociomaterial workplace learning perspectives to show that many educational resources focus unhelpfully on generic skills and give insufficient consideration to the complicated and complex nature of this work. Using data from a wider study, which explored how health-care professionals in the United Kingdom learn to support children and their parents to self-manage type 1 diabetes, this article examines the informal learning that unfolds in the actions and conversations at work as professionals encounter, consider, explore and (temporarily) resolve specific challenges. This article provides novel insights into this area and suggests alternative ways of understanding, investigating and enabling professional knowledge.


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