New Social Movements, Stories and the Pedagogy of the SHCR

The SHCR is a new social movement (NSM) in that it aims to harness societal and cultural action to effect change (Habermas, 1981).  It creates a diverse network of “volunteers” (Melucci, 1980) enacting discrete activities which collectively improve health and social care.

Central to NSM theory is the use of storytelling to frame personal and organisational change (Bate et al, 2004).  Snow and Benford (1988) describe three types of framing: diagnostic identifies problems; prognostic considers a future state and how to achieve it and motivational, which taps into participants’ beliefs, values and motivations. Framing allows the construction and communication their understanding of issues and scaffolds individual and group reflective learning (Buechler, 1995). This can be particularly useful in complex situations, such as those commonly encountered in clinical practice.

Framing through telling stories and recounting real experiences may also win others to a cause and call them to action. According to new social movement theory, storytelling has the potential to create large-scale socio-cultural change (used to great effect by Martin Luther King, for example). By arousing emotions, stories convey a more memorable case for change than facts and logic alone (Fryer, 2003). They can build shared purpose that crosses organisational boundaries and support communities of practice (Wenger, 1998) by creating “a living ‘collective memory’ of the lessons learned, even for newcomers” (Buckler and Zein, 1996, p.405).

Educational applications of storytelling

Below I have mapped the pedagogy of framing and storytelling using a tool developed by Conole et al (2004). The individual and collaborative combination of experience, information and reflection aligns to the theory of communities of practice (Wenger, 1998; Conole et al, 2004).

NSM pedagogy map

In module 2 of the SHCR, Building Alliances for Change participants are introduced to the “information” aspect of framing and storytelling – the theory. Synchronous, “chat-box” discussions during the live broadcast and in subsequent tweet chats may stimulate reflection and certainly generate social interaction. But it is only after the learning event, when change agents experiment with framing and storytelling in their own community of practice, do they benefit completely from the SHCR.




Bate, S.P, Bevan, H., Robert, G.  (2004) Towards a million change agents. A review of the social movements literature: implications for large scale change in the NHS.  NHS Modernisation Agency: London, UK [Online].  Available at (accessed 9 August 2016)

Buckler, S.A. and Zein K.A. (1996) ‘From experience: The spirituality of innovation: learning from stories,’ Journal of Production Innovation Management, 13, pp. 391-405

Buechler SM.  (1995) ‘New Social Movement Theories’ The Sociological Quarterly vol 36, no 3, pp 441-464.

Conole, G, Dyke, M, Oliver, M and Seale, J. (2004) ‘Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design’, Computers and Education, vol 43, pp 17-33

Fryer B. (2003) ‘Storytelling that moves people. A conversation with screenwriting coach Robert McKee’, Harvard Business Review, June: 51-55 [Online]. Available at (accessed 9 August 2016)

Melucci A. (1980) ‘The New Social Movements: A theoretical approach’,  Social Sciences Information vol. 19; p 199-226.

Snow, D.A. and Benford, R.D. (1988). ‘Ideology, Frame Resonance, and Participant Mobilization’, International Social Movement Research, vol 1, pp 197-217

Wenger E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity.  Cambridge, UK. Cambridge University Press.

New Social Movements, Stories and the Pedagogy of the SHCR

My Adventures with The School for Health and Care Radicals

Change AgentHad someone told me two years ago that one particular online, free, 5-week course would change my life, I would not have believed them  But it’s no exaggeration to say that the School for Health and Care Radicals has done this.  As I type this I’m preparing to start an assignment – my final one! – for the Masters in Online and Distance Education with the Open University.  I have to evaluate an innovation in e-learning and simply cannot miss this opportunity to re-visit the SHCR.

I’ve decided that alongside this personally important essay, I want to blog about my experiences – and yes, adventures – with the SHCR and since becoming an accredited change agent.  It’s hard to remember how I approached my clinical and educational practice before I discovered this MOOC (massive, open, online course) in 2014.  I have been fascinated with the technology, pedagogy,  theories and impacts ever since and I hope my readers will add their comments too – in the spirit of openness and collaboration of the wonderfully life-changing School for Health and Care Radicals itself.

My Adventures with The School for Health and Care Radicals

Pulling Together for Shared Purpose

I’ve just finished an online tutorial for the Open University course I’m studying – H800: technology-enhanced learning, practices and debates (of course tutorials are online!).  We were discussing Richardson’s paper “Students’ Approaches to Learning and Learners’ Approaches to Teaching in Higher Education“.  Despite our geographical dispersal, the power of the internet brought us together in the realisation that teachers of all hues aren’t that great at changing how they teach to adapt to the way their learners like to learn.

This got me thinking about the recurring topic of resistance to change, something which I have written about in my posts on the clinical audit blog Audit Jumble (Domestication or Liberation and Quality Trumps Resistance: 2 Lessons from History).  We could just as easily substitute doctors for teachers and patients for students in this discussion.  Is the aspiration for a move towards student-led learning all that different from the change to patient-focused care?

For me, the answer is not really.  It all comes down to how we approach the change.  Both student-led teaching and patient-centred care demand an ideological change that we may believe we subscribe to but in reality don’t enact.  This isn’t a deliberate act of subversion:  I think it has more to do with our attitude towards the barriers that have to be overcome: securing resources, breaking down preconceptions, speaking a common language and moving beyond hierarchies.  When you consider these obstacles, it’s easy to see that change means effort and time.  Hardly surprising that the common response to change is resistance.

In previous posts I’ve talked about the dialogic approach to managing resistance to change, which I first encountered through the fabulous School for Health and Care Radicals.  Overcoming resistance by mandating a course of action or providing the most user-friendly packages of teaching/ care may involve time and effort, but they are nevertheless easier to implement than a productive discussion to negotiate common purpose and shared goals.  These conversations don’t happen overnight: they involve bringing our values, beliefs and assumptions into the spotlight (sometimes kicking and screaming), exposing our collective and individual vulnerabilities.  As if that wasn’t painful enough, we then have to give something of them up to the other party or parties and hope they will do the same back.  Imagine, then, how this might feel for a vulnerable group of learners or ill people?

But if we don’t do that, how can we truly be putting the learner or the patient at the centre of the enterprise? How do we know where the lines that cannot be crossed are?  And how can we be sure we are building on safe, secure and common ground?  How can we start working together to get where we want to be instead of pulling in different directions and getting nowhere?

"Toronto female rowing team" by Joshua Sherurcij. Licensed under Attribution via Wikimedia Commons -
“Toronto female rowing team” by Joshua Sherurcij. Licensed under Attribution via Wikimedia Commons –
Pulling Together for Shared Purpose

The CEDA Community model Pt.2: ‘Engagement’ & ‘Permission’ in Social Learning

Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

I’ve been developing the CEDA model this week, looking at how we develop vibrant Social Learning communities. It has two purposes: firstly, to be used in strategy, to help shape our organisational approach and, secondly, to diagnose the health of a functioning community, to understand what’s working and what may need support.

The CEDA model v2

There are four parts to the model (you can read all about it here), ‘Curation‘, ‘Engagement‘, ‘Debate‘ and ‘Application‘. Four things we need to consider. What are people sharing and how comprehensive a perspective do they have? How do people engage with it? What is the quality of the debate and how is the learning applied? In a healthy community, functioning in an agile organisation, we see a broad level of curation from diverse sources, we see high engagement over time, with great ‘sense…

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The CEDA Community model Pt.2: ‘Engagement’ & ‘Permission’ in Social Learning

Social media and me

Love this..Thanks, Annie


Private_Professional_SoMeFilmStillI think I joined Facebook in 2007; not exactly an early adopter but not a late-comer either. I can remember who sent me the link and why she said I would like it. She was right I did! Before that I was a user of ‘Friends Reunited’ too – you remember that? Where you could look people up from school? I became a Facebook fan and, as smart phones came into my life and I spent increasing amounts of time travelling with my phone in my hand, social media an increasingly important part of my personal life.

A little while later, in 2009, someone at work suggested I join Twitter. I am always curious about new things so I duly logged in and created my account – @anniecoops was born.

In February 2009, when I started my Twitter journey, I took ages to warm up. Like many people who I…

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Social media and me

Welcome to my World

SnoopyThis is the first time I’ve written a blog solely in my name.  No one and nothing to hide behind here – just my thoughts and reflections on what’s happening in my world. So it would probably be a good idea to use this post to describe a little more about myself.

I’m a doctor, who for the past 15 years has worked in palliative care.  I’m passionate about equitable, high-quality, dignified end of life care for everyone.  And the part I’ve chosen to take in achieving that is through education.  Educating doctors, nurses, therapists, patients, humanity…across the world as well as in the UK.  Which is which I’m studying technology enhanced learning.  I’m neither a teacher nor a techie – so my learning curve is huge but hopefully it will make for interesting reading.

Here goes….

Welcome to my World