Title

I'm not an OT, Reflections from an Interdisciplinary Occupational Science Program through the eyes of a Geographer-Come-Occupational Scientist

Start Time

24-10-2008 12:00 PM

End Time

24-10-2008 2:00 PM

Abstract

Stemming from a paper collaboratively written by the first cohort of graduate students in Canada‚s first Occupational Science program, this presentation considers two aspects of the shared vision for occupational science we developed within the context of a doctoral course ˆ interdisciplinarity and internationalization. I entered this program with a Masters of Geography and an interest in international migration, making questions of interdisciplinarity and internationalization central to my experience within this program. Working with students from different academic and cultural backgrounds offered a unique experience to consider occupational constructs within a diverse setting. This paper contributes to the vital dialogue regarding the continued evolution of occupational science by reflecting on key issues and questions related to the notion of interdisciplinarity and our connections with other disciplines. The call to be interdisciplinary has existed since the inception of occupational science, however, defining and achieving interdisciplinarity has been a struggle and some have questioned its importance. We propose that attending to questions related to the meanings of interdisciplinarity, its benefits and drawbacks, and the ways of building rich and reciprocal ties across disciplines are essential to advancing a science that aims to achieve complex understandings of occupation. The continued international growth of the discipline furthers the need for reflexivity regarding the assumptions underlying occupational research in diverse settings. Some important questions to consider include: How can we move forward in shaping an international science that does not contribute to global inequality itself, either in terms of knowledge production or within the broader political landscape? How can we build on the insights offered through the work of scholars in occupational science while avoiding a passive and wholesale import of knowledge into diverse contexts? The consideration of ontological and epistemological assumptions, the context of research, and the power of language, with respect to the dominant use of the English language within academia, are important issues relevant to this dialogue. This paper therefore emphasizes our call for continued critical reflexivity within the discipline, which involves self-reflection on how our values and academic experiences shape and are shaped by the disciplinary structures we are situated within.

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Oct 24th, 12:00 PM Oct 24th, 2:00 PM

I'm not an OT, Reflections from an Interdisciplinary Occupational Science Program through the eyes of a Geographer-Come-Occupational Scientist

Stemming from a paper collaboratively written by the first cohort of graduate students in Canada‚s first Occupational Science program, this presentation considers two aspects of the shared vision for occupational science we developed within the context of a doctoral course ˆ interdisciplinarity and internationalization. I entered this program with a Masters of Geography and an interest in international migration, making questions of interdisciplinarity and internationalization central to my experience within this program. Working with students from different academic and cultural backgrounds offered a unique experience to consider occupational constructs within a diverse setting. This paper contributes to the vital dialogue regarding the continued evolution of occupational science by reflecting on key issues and questions related to the notion of interdisciplinarity and our connections with other disciplines. The call to be interdisciplinary has existed since the inception of occupational science, however, defining and achieving interdisciplinarity has been a struggle and some have questioned its importance. We propose that attending to questions related to the meanings of interdisciplinarity, its benefits and drawbacks, and the ways of building rich and reciprocal ties across disciplines are essential to advancing a science that aims to achieve complex understandings of occupation. The continued international growth of the discipline furthers the need for reflexivity regarding the assumptions underlying occupational research in diverse settings. Some important questions to consider include: How can we move forward in shaping an international science that does not contribute to global inequality itself, either in terms of knowledge production or within the broader political landscape? How can we build on the insights offered through the work of scholars in occupational science while avoiding a passive and wholesale import of knowledge into diverse contexts? The consideration of ontological and epistemological assumptions, the context of research, and the power of language, with respect to the dominant use of the English language within academia, are important issues relevant to this dialogue. This paper therefore emphasizes our call for continued critical reflexivity within the discipline, which involves self-reflection on how our values and academic experiences shape and are shaped by the disciplinary structures we are situated within.