The use of stories from professional experience in continuing professional education has been on the rise in many fields, often aimed at bolstering capacity through sharing professional knowledge and/or supporting reflective practice. Practice stories are also suggested to be beneficial in supporting professional learning of new concepts. These uses of practice stories are not evident in public natural resource management (NRM) continuing professional education. In light of greater public involvement in NRM practice over the last 20 years, however, the use of practice stories could now be particularly beneficial to NRM professionals. This study examines the use of practice stories in workshops aimed at deepening public NRM professionals' understanding of social science concepts suggested to be valuable in making sense of the social and political complexity intertwined in public involvement practice. Feedback from workshop participants suggests that practice stories may be able to support NRM professionals in reflecting on previous experiences, learning from colleague's practice experiences and serving as a springboard for learning by fostering linkages between social science knowledge and practice. The study also finds that the perceived benefits of sharing practice stories were comparatively less for some more experienced participants.
Studies in Continuing Education, 2014, Vol 36, Issue 3, p. 322-341