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Becoming and Being a Student: A Heideggerian Analysis of Physiotherapy Students’ Experiences

Hamshire, C and Jack, K (2016) Becoming and Being a Student: A Heideggerian Analysis of Physiotherapy Students’ Experiences. The Qualitative Report, 21 (10). pp. 1904-1919. ISSN 1052-0147

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Abstract

This three-year, longitudinal, narrative study sought to explore physiotherapy students’ stories of their undergraduate experiences to gain an insight into the process of being a student, with an interpretation of the philosophy of Heidegger as a possible horizon for understanding. The central aim was to listen to students’ stories told in their own words over a series of narrative interviews throughout their degree programme. The first author [CH] interviewed six students a minimum of five occasions and at each interview they were encouraged with a narrative prompt to tell the stories of their experiences as a series of episodes beginning and finishing wherever and however they felt was most appropriate. Framework analysis of the stories revealed that each individual’s experience of university life was multi-layered, and the use of Heideggerian philosophical tenets to inform our interpretation allowed a more insightful exploration of the students’ experiences; providing a greater understanding of what being a student meant for these particular students. This study underlines the importance of listening to students to understand their being so that we might understand individual needs and tailor support accordingly.

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