Workings and Learning Together
: Exploring the Potential of Developmental Project Work to Support Positive Change for Practice and Practitioners

  • Ann Chidgey

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Aspirations for equality between the English and Welsh languages are widely held in Wales although Welsh is spoken by a minority of the population. Practitioners working through the medium of Welsh face particular challenges which include shortages of resources and limited access to support from Welsh speaking professionals. This thesis describes an intervention over time to strengthen the marginal position of a team of practitioners whose practice takes place through the medium of the Welsh language.Drawing on discursive evidence gathered in a series of team meetings conducted through the medium of Welsh the case study explores the potential of developmental project work to provide a context within which to effect change for practice, professional development and professional identity. The research is grounded in Engeström’s theory of expansive learning and uses methodology based on Vygotsky’s notion of dual stimulation. Forms of discourse analysis is applied to transcripts and textual records of the communicative action of the team.The study charts trajectories of change for the team and team members occurring during the study and beyond. Outcomes have included the establishment of self directed working practices in the development of resources which are valued by local, regional, national and commercial colleagues. The study provides an illustration of how this interventionist approach to support practitioners apply and extend their knowledge and expertise in developmental project work also contributed to professional development through reconstructions of professional identity.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorHarry Daniels (Supervisor)


  • cultural histoical activity theory
  • developmental project work
  • expansive learning
  • Welsh medium education

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