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13. At udvikles ved at udvikle - english abstract

Developing Through Participation
- processes of change as basis for implementation of the  ASP-intervention

By Pär Nygren, Professor in psychology and social work, Høgskolen, Lillehammer, Norway
http://ebookstore.ebog.dk/Home/HTML/moreinfo.asp?bookid=53695764463 pages * ISBN 978-87-7684-245-1 * Published: 2008

This paper is the 13th in a series of fourteen electronic publications about the Danish research project "Action competences in pedagogical work with socially endangered children and youths - effort and effect" (The ASP-project).

In this paper the author presents a model of the participative development at work (i.e. development at work is run by and involves the employees) that has been implemented locally in the selected ASP-institutions (i.e. worked with the intervention 2006-08). The presented model is based on Nygren's (1988; 1999a; 1999b) model of democratic participatory development at work but it has been refined and further developed to match the objectives and preconditions of the ASP-project. Participative development at work rests on the assumed precondition that theory and objectives, rather than methods, are the driving force of the pedagogical work; but in fact, methods and tools often control the practice.
    Today, more and more professions face increasing demands of being able to implement evidence-based knowledge in their work; the professionals must be able to document their work and demonstrate that the effects of their efforts correspond to the objectives of the workplace. Yet, in reality the professionals rarely have the means or resources to execute this documentation. In fact, it seems the professionals working in the field of social pedagogy have been let down by the politicians as well as the researchers. Thus, the ASP-project presents the professionals with the opportunity to acquire theoretical and methodological competency to work with knowledge-based development at work that aim at improving socially endangered children and youths' action competences.

The author firstly presents four fundamental principles for successful development at work. They are 1) to take a theory and goal-driven approach to work rather than a tight method-driven approach, 2) to work from a principle of participant-driven development and keeping the management at the core of the organization of employee involvement, 3) to apply a holistic view on development, i.e. knowledge, actions and implementation are perceived as interrelated and 4) to think of research and pedagogical development as constituting reciprocal preconditions. Secondly, he presents a theoretical point about human development, the organisation and process of the development at work in pedagogical institutions. Thirdly and lastly, specific proposals for a developmental process in the individual ASP-intervention institution are presented. The process is characterized the employees developing their own capacities and action competences as they develop their practice.

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