Marginality and the role of the clinical teacher

Authors

  • Terry Smyth MA BA RGN RMN DipN(Lond) RNT

    Corresponding author
    1. Head of School of Community and Educational Studies, Colchester Institute, Colchester, Essex
      Terry Smyth, Rose Cottage, 75 High Road, Leavenheath, Colchester, Essex CO6 4PE.
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Terry Smyth, Rose Cottage, 75 High Road, Leavenheath, Colchester, Essex CO6 4PE.

Abstract

This paper discusses the concept of marginality and its relevance to an understanding of the role of the clinical teacher. Despite having a rather chequered history, the notion of marginality has proved, nonetheless, to be a powerful and resilient stimulus for many writers from a variety of backgrounds. After a brief overview of the historical development of the concept, this paper focuses on the theoretical framework proposed by Dickie-Clark which is found to have value as both an accessible and flexible means of analysing a wide range of social and individual phenomena. It is this framework that is used to examine the position of the clinical teacher. The essence of the argument is that the clinical teacher is at a pivotal level at the intersection of two relatively distinct hierarchies (the formal educational and the informal clinical) which need to be reconciled if the clinical teacher is to be effective. Brief references are made also to Third World studies as an illustration of how seemingly remote concepts can be employed creatively to highlight some hitherto unconsidered aspects of the clinical teacher's role.

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