Title

Real Time Learning: Students in Community Based Settings

Start Time

16-11-2002 1:45 PM

End Time

16-11-2002 3:00 PM

Abstract

This paper examines how students create meaning in their role as providers of occupation-based groups in a community program for brain-injured adults called Steppingstones. Steppingstones established in 2000, is a non-profit organization located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Steppingstones is located at the Seacoast Health's Community Campus and is the only community based program for brain-injury survivors in the state. The goals of this program are to: offer opportunities for friendship development, recreation, training, volunteerism, and support. The program offers services 3 days per week, for 7 hours each day. Services currently offered are community meeting, emotion workshops, cooking programs, gardening, exercise activities, newsletter publication, and social planning group. The program assists members in obtaining volunteer positions with the goal of achieving paid employment. The program exists because of the participation of occupational therapy students from the University of New Hampshire. The students create and run a majority of the programs offered to members, implement grant-funded projects and participate in planning committees with members and staff. This paper integrates two years of student and faculty experiences with several theoretical assumptions from occupational science. These assumptions are: a) There is a highly interactive relationship between occupation and narrative that shapes personal identity, b) as we engage in occupation, we are altering our understanding of the world and ourselves, and c) humans construct their identities and create and re-create their self-identity as they engage in occupations. The faculty who have been involved with Steppingstones believe these assumptions accurately describe the transformative power of occupation observed in both students and members at Steppingstones. Weekly journal entries, facility documentation required of all students, and faculty observations were analyzed for themes related to the transformative power of occupation. This paper wove these themes together with faculty descriptions of the contextual relevance, temporal demands, and cultural influences to describe the re-creation of student identity and role that resulted from participation in real-time learning at Steppingstones. As the profession of occupational therapy broadens its practice in the community, it is important to explore the effects on all involved. This paper will use the lens of occupational science to explore the rich opportunities community-based experiences offer students to create their professional identities as occupational therapists.

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Nov 16th, 1:45 PM Nov 16th, 3:00 PM

Real Time Learning: Students in Community Based Settings

This paper examines how students create meaning in their role as providers of occupation-based groups in a community program for brain-injured adults called Steppingstones. Steppingstones established in 2000, is a non-profit organization located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Steppingstones is located at the Seacoast Health's Community Campus and is the only community based program for brain-injury survivors in the state. The goals of this program are to: offer opportunities for friendship development, recreation, training, volunteerism, and support. The program offers services 3 days per week, for 7 hours each day. Services currently offered are community meeting, emotion workshops, cooking programs, gardening, exercise activities, newsletter publication, and social planning group. The program assists members in obtaining volunteer positions with the goal of achieving paid employment. The program exists because of the participation of occupational therapy students from the University of New Hampshire. The students create and run a majority of the programs offered to members, implement grant-funded projects and participate in planning committees with members and staff. This paper integrates two years of student and faculty experiences with several theoretical assumptions from occupational science. These assumptions are: a) There is a highly interactive relationship between occupation and narrative that shapes personal identity, b) as we engage in occupation, we are altering our understanding of the world and ourselves, and c) humans construct their identities and create and re-create their self-identity as they engage in occupations. The faculty who have been involved with Steppingstones believe these assumptions accurately describe the transformative power of occupation observed in both students and members at Steppingstones. Weekly journal entries, facility documentation required of all students, and faculty observations were analyzed for themes related to the transformative power of occupation. This paper wove these themes together with faculty descriptions of the contextual relevance, temporal demands, and cultural influences to describe the re-creation of student identity and role that resulted from participation in real-time learning at Steppingstones. As the profession of occupational therapy broadens its practice in the community, it is important to explore the effects on all involved. This paper will use the lens of occupational science to explore the rich opportunities community-based experiences offer students to create their professional identities as occupational therapists.