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ABS094 - From the systemic to the relational: Facing new work challenges across boundaries

2.2 Identity and professional learning in new and diverse ecologies
3:50 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
This study focuses on the complex work challenges facing social pedagogues in Iceland due to a paradigm shift from the individual or medical model of disability to a more social or human rights-based model, which is the impetus of the study. This ideological shift calls for new forms of practice as stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (CRPD). This paper reviews the data from a study conducted in two municipalities in Iceland. The aim is to get insight into how these paradigm changes affect the internal and external circumstances within the working environment of social pedagogues working in these municipalities. Furthermore, the aim is to grasp their views and lived experiences to better understand their need for professional support. The findings are based on a mixed method study; a half-open questionnaire followed by semi-structured interviews. Cultural-historical activity theory was used as a theoretical framework for analysing and better understanding the data in order to better understand social pedagogical practice in a complex working situation. The findings show the effectiveness of activity theory as a tool to shed light on the contradictions and struggle experienced by the professionals in their efforts to comply with the demands stated in the CRPD. The findings also indicate that their professional practice has historically developed in a systemic institutional way and that there is a need to focus on individual action to action with others as a step towards supporting one's actions in accordance with new demands.

University of Iceland
University of Iceland