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About Marie McKenzie Mills PhD, CSci

As a Chartered Scientist, I hold a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and Human Physiology, and took my Fellowship examination in Immunology (Institute of Biomedical Sciences) shortly before going on to research immunoregulation in rheumatoid arthritis at Guy's Hospital Medical School.
I also have an experiential and theoretical background in Learning and Teaching through: being involved in training since 1988; and, taking a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 1999; followed by a Masters degree in Learning and Teaching, in 2001.
Most recently, this background enabled me to appreciate collective understanding of practice in terms of our shared concepts, methodology, and experiences within a community devoted to training practice in clinical research. Otherwise, I might have struggled to make sense of it all in terms of the significance of systemic contradictions.
My research in this community of practice was developmental in nature, which points towards the adoption of a theoretical and methodological framework that encompassed concerns for methodological rigour, namely Cultural-Historical-Activity-Theory (CHAT). Critical reflexivity, reliability and validity are addressed within its developmental principles.
I used Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to reveal the cultural complexity of the concept of practice within this community. This involved empirically substantiating a conceptual-analytical framework that I developed to describe and analyse the concept of practice embodied in the community’s object of activity. In this way, I demonstrated:-
1) how to apply CHAT at the level of declarative conceptions, procedural models, and social discourses/interactions; and
2) a link between the dominant concept of practice in the community and the larger socio-cultural context.
Using CHAT, I revealed the complexity of human activity in terms of its cognitive and cooperative social elements, identified as objective regularities unique to the activity system under investigation.
My thesis that, in effect, particular conceptual models are associated with a particular rationality of practice and professionality, was successfully defended leading to the award of PhD in Education. Copies of individual chapters are available for download here.
A link is now also available to download the entire thesis from the online repository at the University of Warwick.


Present Faculty Member, University of Warwick

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Published Papers (4)

PhD (14)