LEARNING THROUGH THE EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES OF BIOLOGICAL / FOSTER PARENTING

Authors

  • Ramunė Bagdonaitė-Stelmokienė Vytautas Magnus University, Kolping University of Applied Sciences
  • Vilma Žydžiūnaitė Vytautas Magnus University.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17770/sie2018vol1.3250

Keywords:

fostering, learning through experience, parenting, qualitative content analysis

Abstract

Learning through everyday experiences is understood as a complex process during which the learner undergoes various social interactions; it is an emotional, cognitive and behavioural process of learning. The aim of the study was to describe the process of learning of parents and foster parents through the everyday experiences of biological/foster parenting by revealing the similarities and differences of their experiences. The article presents the findings of the qualitative research. Applying the narrative interview, 4 parents and 8 foster parents were interviewed in the study. The data were analysed by using an inductive qualitative content analysis method. The findings revealed that the personal change of parents and foster parents and their growth in parenthood takes place in the process of learning from everyday experiences. The birth of a child into a family as well as the acceptance of a non-relative child into a foster family pose a number of challenges and cause confusion, but it is the experience of giving, joy and community too. The most striking difference between biological and foster parenting is revealed through the experience of ‘emotional triangle’ which is the only characteristic of foster parents. Communication with the foster child’s biological family is one of the most complex aspects of foster parenting. 

Author Biography

  • Ramunė Bagdonaitė-Stelmokienė, Vytautas Magnus University, Kolping University of Applied Sciences
    RAMUNĖ BAGDONAITĖ-STELMOKIENĖ is a lecturer in the Social Welfare Centre at Kolping University of Applied Sciences (Kaunas, Lithuania). In 2009, she earned the Master’s Degree of Social Work at Vytautas Magnus University. Now she is a PhD student of Education at Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania). Ramunė takes interest in the social care of the individuals affected by negative social environment, social-risk families, children, issues of social ethics. She focuses her study on the phenomenon of caring and informal learning. Ramunė is a member of the International Foster Care Research Network (member from 2009); European Research Institute for Social Work (ERIS) (member from 2013); Lithuanian Board of Social Work (member from 2015). She published more than 10 articles on peer reviewed journals, and has made more than 18 national and international research presentations, related to the field of social work, caring, and informal learning. Her e-mail: r.bagdonaite@gmail.com

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Published

2018-05-25