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“The training was an eye-opener…”: Transformative Experiences of Caregivers from an Adult Education on Medical and Psychosocial Care of Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH). (International Child Health and Nutrition)
2012 (English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This article describes the transformative experiences observed among social and health care learners in an international training program after they had undergone training focusing on working with children in especially difficult circumstances. Participants were drawn from government departments, non-governmental organizations, community- and faith-based organizations and represented different professional and age groups. The training evolved over time and is built on research conducted among children in especially difficult circumstances and their caregivers. Qualitative methods were used for evaluation and Mezirow’s transformative learning theory served as the framework of reference. Two themes were developed from the process of analysis, namely: Learners’ description of their learning and its impact on their work; and the factors facilitating the transformation. In conclusion, the article indicates that, composition of the learners, course content based on research and the caregivers’ reflections, and discursive role of researchers and facilitators, are critical in adult learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
children; caregivers; education, professional; transformative learning; Africa; Asia, Southeast
National Category
Health Sciences Learning
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178165OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-178165DiVA: diva2:542185
Available from: 2012-07-30 Created: 2012-07-30 Last updated: 2013-01-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From Children of the Garbage Bins to Citizens: A reflexive ethnographic study on the care of “street children”
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Children of the Garbage Bins to Citizens: A reflexive ethnographic study on the care of “street children”
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study on which this thesis is based was to gain an understanding of the life situation of street children in Kenya and to investigate how caring institutions care for these children.  A reflexive ethnographic approach was used to facilitate entry into the children’s sub-culture and the work contexts of the caregivers to better understand how the children live on the streets and how the caregivers work with the children. A fundamental aim of the research was to develop interventions to care; one of the reasons why we also used the interpretive description approach. Method and data source triangulation was used. Field notes, tape, video, and photography were used to record the data.  Participant observation, group discussions, individual interviews, home visits, key informant interviews, participatory workshops and clinical findings were used for data collection in Studies I and II.  In addition to observation, interviews were conducted with caregivers for study III, while written narratives from learners attending adult education developed and implemented during the research period provided data for study IV.  Study I indicated that food, shelter and education were the main concerns for the children and that they had strong social bonds and used support networks as a survival strategy.  Study II provided a deeper understanding of the street culture, revealing how the boys are organised, patterns of substance use, home spaces in the streets and networks of support. The boys indicated that they wanted to leave the streets but opposed being moved to existing institutions of care. A group home was therefore developed in collaboration with members of the category “begging boys”.  Study III indicated how the caregivers’ interactions with the children were crucial in children’s decisions to leave the streets, to be initiated into residential care, undergo rehabilitation and to be reintegrated into society.  Caregivers who attempted to use participatory approaches and took time to establish rapport were more successful with the children.  Study IV suggested that the composition of learners, course content grounded on research, caregivers’ reflections and discursive role of researchers and facilitators, all contributed to adult learning that transformed the learners’ perspectives and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 55 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 790
Health care seeking behaviour; Child participation; Re(habilitation); Street children; Caregiver; Reflexive ethnography; Transformative learning; Kenya; Africa; Southeast Asia
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Health Sciences Learning
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178166 (URN)978-91-554-8410-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-14, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2012-08-24 Created: 2012-07-30 Last updated: 2013-01-24Bibliographically approved

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