Practice development: realising active learning for sustainable change



Publication Details

McCormack, B., Dewing, J., Breslin, L., Coyne-Nevin, A., Kennedy, K., Manning, M., Peelo-Kilroe, L. & Tobin, C. (2009). Practice development: realising active learning for sustainable change. Contemporary Nurse, 32 (1-2), 92-104.


This paper explores the concept of practice development in the context of professional development and strategies for facilitating learning in practice. In this paper we present the background to the methodology of emancipatory and transformational practice development. Key concepts underpinning a contemporary definition of practice development are unravelled and nine principles for effective practice development proposed. An example of a large-scale national practice development programme with older people residential settings in the Republic of Ireland is presented to illustrate the processes in action. The findings of the first year of the programme are offered and these findings demonstrate the ways in which practice development systematically uncovers the deeply embedded characteristics of practice cultures - characteristics that often inhibit effective person-centred practice to be realised.

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