Volume 5 Number 4 April 2019
A Qualitative Course-Based Inquiry into the Concept of Love as a Central Component of Child and Youth Care Practice
Authors: Kylie Schneider ; Melanie Dziwenka ; Bobbi Schweighardt ; Gerard Bellefeuille
Child and Youth Care (CYC) students have the right to be engaged in pedagogical practices that inspire and arouse their curiosity about their field of practice. Undergraduate course-based research in which students have an opportunity to conduct authentic research within a for-credit course is one such high-impact pedagogical practice with a growing body of evidence-based outcomes. This article presents an undergraduate course-based research project that examined child and youth care student’s beliefs about displaying love as a component of their practice. Located in the constructivist/interpretive research paradigm, this course-based research project collected data through the use of an expressive arts-based data method followed by a semi-structured questionnaire. Four overarching themes were identified during the thematic analysis: (a) authentic caring involves expressions of love, (b) expressions of love are an essential component of growth and development, (c) loving care as an ethic of relational practice, and (d) but…professionalism stands in the way. The results of this course-based study suggest that expressing love as a component of relational-centred CYC practice is not fully understood by CYC students and that much more research is needed to explore this issue.