Title

Facilitating inquiry: Surprising lessons from a doctoral seminar on water and occupation

Location

Room C

Start Time

19-10-2013 11:10 AM

End Time

19-10-2013 12:40 PM

Session Type

Forum

Abstract

In response to the conference theme Occupation and Education, we propose a forum based upon lessons from a doctoral seminar on the relationship of water and occupation. Zemke and Clark (1996) suggested that doctoral students play an important role in defining the character and shape of Occupational Science (OS). We posit that in order to do this, graduate programs should use classroom discussions to explore the scope and intent of new knowledge about occupation. In 1993, Yerxa called upon the discipline to integrate its work within broader university systems. Rudman et al. (2009) expanded this idea and argued that “contextual challenges require academics to consider how they can ensure that the relevance of their work is recognized outside of the discipline, and can thereby influence the decisions and actions of individuals, collectives, and policy makers” (p. 141). We took up the challenge by embracing our university’s campus wide theme Water in Our World within an OS doctoral seminar. Throughout the semester, seminar participants were tasked with expanding conceptions of occupation by considering if and how OS should incorporate an understanding of natural resources—specifically, water—into our disciplinary agenda. To date, few authors have examined the connection between occupation and natural resources, Blakeney and Marshall (2009) and Aoyama, Hudson, and Hoover (2012) representing notable exceptions. The readings for each student-led, discussion-based seminar were primarily drawn from other disciplines, challenging participants to integrate diverse literature into our understanding, extend ideas about occupation into the broader academic discourse, and ultimately to develop critical theoretical ideas about the position of OS in such discourse. While we continue to grapple with the exact role of OS in the global water dialogue, this seminar produced powerful insights into education, responsibility, and interdisciplinarity that we feel are important to share with the OS community.

Aims

To engage forum participants in lively discussion about…

1. effective integration of OS into broader university systems

2. benefits and challenges of exploring “uncharted territory” within graduate education

3. the relation of OS and natural resources as an agenda for our science

4. potential for OS to participate in interdisciplinary work addressing global issues

5. issues of scale in OS knowledge endeavors

Outcomes

Participants will…

1. examine ways to position OS within larger educational systems/institutions

2. evaluate the potential for student seminars to explore “uncharted territory” and generate novel

ways of thinking about occupation.

3. expand conceptions of the role and trajectory of OS

4. identify areas for future research relative to occupation and natural resources

5. determine the specific contributions OS can make to interdisciplinary global discourse

Key Words: natural resources, education, occupation

References

Aoyama, M., Hudson, M., & Hoover, K. (2012). Occupation mediates ecosystem services with

human well-being. Journal of Occupational Science, 19(3), 213-225.

Blakeney, A. B. & Marshall, A. (2009). Water quality, health, and human occupations. American

Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 46-57

Rudman, D. L., Dennhardt, S., Fox, D., Huot, S., Molke, D., Park, A., & Zur, B. (2008). A vision for occupational science: Reflecting on our disciplinary culture. Journal of Occupational Science, 15(3), 136-146.

Yerxa, E. J. (1993). Occupational science: A new source of power for participants in occupational therapy. Occupational Science: Australia, 1(1), 3-9.

Zemke, R., & Clark, F. (1996). Preface. In R. Zemke & F. Clark (Eds.). Occupational science: The evolving discipline. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.

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Oct 19th, 11:10 AM Oct 19th, 12:40 PM

Facilitating inquiry: Surprising lessons from a doctoral seminar on water and occupation

Room C

In response to the conference theme Occupation and Education, we propose a forum based upon lessons from a doctoral seminar on the relationship of water and occupation. Zemke and Clark (1996) suggested that doctoral students play an important role in defining the character and shape of Occupational Science (OS). We posit that in order to do this, graduate programs should use classroom discussions to explore the scope and intent of new knowledge about occupation. In 1993, Yerxa called upon the discipline to integrate its work within broader university systems. Rudman et al. (2009) expanded this idea and argued that “contextual challenges require academics to consider how they can ensure that the relevance of their work is recognized outside of the discipline, and can thereby influence the decisions and actions of individuals, collectives, and policy makers” (p. 141). We took up the challenge by embracing our university’s campus wide theme Water in Our World within an OS doctoral seminar. Throughout the semester, seminar participants were tasked with expanding conceptions of occupation by considering if and how OS should incorporate an understanding of natural resources—specifically, water—into our disciplinary agenda. To date, few authors have examined the connection between occupation and natural resources, Blakeney and Marshall (2009) and Aoyama, Hudson, and Hoover (2012) representing notable exceptions. The readings for each student-led, discussion-based seminar were primarily drawn from other disciplines, challenging participants to integrate diverse literature into our understanding, extend ideas about occupation into the broader academic discourse, and ultimately to develop critical theoretical ideas about the position of OS in such discourse. While we continue to grapple with the exact role of OS in the global water dialogue, this seminar produced powerful insights into education, responsibility, and interdisciplinarity that we feel are important to share with the OS community.

Aims

To engage forum participants in lively discussion about…

1. effective integration of OS into broader university systems

2. benefits and challenges of exploring “uncharted territory” within graduate education

3. the relation of OS and natural resources as an agenda for our science

4. potential for OS to participate in interdisciplinary work addressing global issues

5. issues of scale in OS knowledge endeavors

Outcomes

Participants will…

1. examine ways to position OS within larger educational systems/institutions

2. evaluate the potential for student seminars to explore “uncharted territory” and generate novel

ways of thinking about occupation.

3. expand conceptions of the role and trajectory of OS

4. identify areas for future research relative to occupation and natural resources

5. determine the specific contributions OS can make to interdisciplinary global discourse

Key Words: natural resources, education, occupation