Title

Beyond Content: The Epistemic, Intrapersonal, & Biographical Dimension of Occupation-Centered Education

Presenter Information

Barb Hooper

Start Time

16-10-2002 12:00 AM

End Time

18-10-2002 12:00 AM

Abstract

Recent educational discourse has concentrated on the central role of occupation and occupational science in OT curricula and in the evolution of a "self-defined" profession (Yerxa, 1998). Scholarship related to occupation and occupational science in education has addressed conceptualization and design of curricula (Wood, et al., 2000; Yerxa, 1998), content and faculty development (e.g. Krishnagiri, Pierce, & Primeau, 1998; see also www.aotf.org/html/faculty) and teaching methods believed appropriate to occupational therapy (e.g. Nolinski & Millis, 1999; Royeen, 1995; Stern, 1997). Very little research has explored the nature of occupation-centered education as it is enacted within a community of faculty. Without understanding the aims, beliefs, assumptions, and practices enacted in occupation-centered education, it is possible to build new curricula upon former assumptions and thwart the hopes that occupation-centered education will aid OT in becoming "self-defined" (Baxter Magolda, 1999).

This 8-week case study of one graduate program, noted for the central role of occupation and occupational science in its curriculum, explored: How do faculty understand and implement occupation-centered education and how have those understandings developed and changed? What beliefs about learners, learning and knowing are reflected in the practice of occupationcentered education? And what methods are associated with occupation-centered education? The researcher interviewed faculty, attended classes, collected course documents, and attended curriculum meetings. Data were recorded through audiotape, videotape, and fieldnotes, and analyzed using both segmental coding of texts and whole narrative analysis.

The results suggest that, in this case, occupation-centered education could not be defined solely as a set of content, preferred learning processes, or overall curriculum design, even while these were vital and important. Beyond content and teaching methods, occupationcentered education was deeply connected to the biographies of the faculty, including their ways of knowing, experiences in the profession, and relationship with the subject of occupation. Students were invited into similar "self-projects", including constructing a self in relation to: authority, occupation, knowing, and major change. This study suggested that occupation-centered education can be conceptualized as an epistemological, intrapersonal, and biographical endeavor through which faculty not only "cover the content" but co-author knowledge, their own lives, and the lives of students.

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Oct 16th, 12:00 AM Oct 18th, 12:00 AM

Beyond Content: The Epistemic, Intrapersonal, & Biographical Dimension of Occupation-Centered Education

Recent educational discourse has concentrated on the central role of occupation and occupational science in OT curricula and in the evolution of a "self-defined" profession (Yerxa, 1998). Scholarship related to occupation and occupational science in education has addressed conceptualization and design of curricula (Wood, et al., 2000; Yerxa, 1998), content and faculty development (e.g. Krishnagiri, Pierce, & Primeau, 1998; see also www.aotf.org/html/faculty) and teaching methods believed appropriate to occupational therapy (e.g. Nolinski & Millis, 1999; Royeen, 1995; Stern, 1997). Very little research has explored the nature of occupation-centered education as it is enacted within a community of faculty. Without understanding the aims, beliefs, assumptions, and practices enacted in occupation-centered education, it is possible to build new curricula upon former assumptions and thwart the hopes that occupation-centered education will aid OT in becoming "self-defined" (Baxter Magolda, 1999).

This 8-week case study of one graduate program, noted for the central role of occupation and occupational science in its curriculum, explored: How do faculty understand and implement occupation-centered education and how have those understandings developed and changed? What beliefs about learners, learning and knowing are reflected in the practice of occupationcentered education? And what methods are associated with occupation-centered education? The researcher interviewed faculty, attended classes, collected course documents, and attended curriculum meetings. Data were recorded through audiotape, videotape, and fieldnotes, and analyzed using both segmental coding of texts and whole narrative analysis.

The results suggest that, in this case, occupation-centered education could not be defined solely as a set of content, preferred learning processes, or overall curriculum design, even while these were vital and important. Beyond content and teaching methods, occupationcentered education was deeply connected to the biographies of the faculty, including their ways of knowing, experiences in the profession, and relationship with the subject of occupation. Students were invited into similar "self-projects", including constructing a self in relation to: authority, occupation, knowing, and major change. This study suggested that occupation-centered education can be conceptualized as an epistemological, intrapersonal, and biographical endeavor through which faculty not only "cover the content" but co-author knowledge, their own lives, and the lives of students.