Title of ArticleSupporting transformational learning processes for person-centred healthcare research in doctoral education: a critical creative reflection
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection on Practice Development
Author/sKaren Rennie and Niamh Kinsella
ReferenceVolume 10, Issue 1, Article 10
Date of PublicationMay 2020
KeywordsDeveloping self, doctoral learning, person-centred, supervision, transformation

Background: When becoming person-centred researchers, doctoral students are expected to learn to negotiate new identities and reconceptualise themselves both as people and professionals so they can engage in values-driven research. Therefore, doctoral studies require students to engage in transformational learning for the purpose of contributing to knowledge about healthcare practice and healthcare culture. During this time, there is potential for the learning process to be lonely and overly challenging, which can hinder the development of self required for transformational learning. It is proposed that doctoral supervisors and universities should have an understanding of conditions that facilitate transformational learning, such that students can be supported to develop self and become person-centred researchers.

Aim: The aim of this article  is to share the continuing story of the doctoral journey of two early career researchers and explore the learning processes through which transformation of understanding and of self has occurred.

Conclusions and implications for practice: Recognition of the uniqueness of each doctoral learning process is required for the development of self that enables person-centred research and practice. The principles identified in this article  can be drawn on to inform ways of working and learning with doctoral supervisors and within the learning environment that allow human flourishing to occur during the doctoral process. These principles include:

  • Facilitation of self-exploration
  • Engagement in multiple ways of learning and diverse learning experiences
  • Facilitative, person-centred supervisory processes
  • Freedom to learn and engage curiosity
  • Experience of challenge in supportive, social learning environments
  • Sense of belonging in the research environment and process

This article by Karen Rennie and Niamh Kinsella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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