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Diving for pearls: an exploration of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource in complex professional learning

Ince, AJ; (2012) Diving for pearls: an exploration of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource in complex professional learning. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This study explores cognitive dissonance as an educative resource in complex professional learning. Cognitive dissonance is an elusive phenomenon but one which is experienced by many adult learners as they engage in professional development. Research suggests harnessing the range of emotions felt from experiencing cognitive dissonance and using it as an educative resource can be a positive approach in complex professional learning. However, facilitators of professional learning appear to find it challenging to identify characteristics of cognitive dissonance and recognise it as it occurs within learners. There is little guidance to be found on how facilitators might make most effective use of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource to support transformative learning. An exploratory case study was adopted to investigate how cognitive dissonance was recognised and experienced by learners and facilitated by tutors engaged in an intensive literacy intervention professional development programme. Data were analysed using a grounded theory approach within a theoretical sampling frame to create a conceptual model of how cognitive dissonance was experienced by learners, recognised and utilised by facilitators as an educative resource. This study identified characteristics and features of cognitive dissonance that may support facilitators in recognising and harnessing it as it occurs. Study of facilitators’ skills in recognising and managing cognitive dissonance within the professional learning environment revealed a complex relationship between their observational acuity, experience in role and personal commitment to critical reflection. Conscious decision making by the facilitator within a learning environment that supports risk taking creates more effective use of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Diving for pearls: an exploration of cognitive dissonance as an educative resource in complex professional learning
Event: University of London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: Cognitive dissonance, Professional Learning, educative resource, facilitator role
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1526599
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