Title

Journey to the center: Exploring a subject-centered education model and the teaching of occupation

Location

Soo Line

Start Time

17-10-2014 11:40 AM

End Time

17-10-2014 12:10 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Objectives: Participants will:

  1. Understand subject-centered education and its conceptual relevance to occupational science and therapy.
  2. Discuss how subject-centered education was and wasn’t elaborated through this study.
  3. Discuss the implications and transferability of this study’s findings to international educational contexts.

For two decades, occupational scientists around the globe have urged the profession to prioritize placing occupation at the center of curricular designs and educational activities in order to advance occupational science and therapy (e.g., Yerxa, 1998; Whiteford & Wilcock, 2001). Therefore, a teaching model with occupation as a central organizing concept has international relevance as education is a key mechanism for disseminating knowledge of occupation. Due to its emphasis on designing learning around a core subject, subject-centered education has been proposed as one model for occupational therapy education (Hooper, 2006, 2010). However, the elements of the model and their transactive links have not been empirically elaborated.

Purpose: This study in progress uses classroom video recordings of educators teaching occupation to explore which elements of a subject-centered model are present and in what configuration. Elements include occupation as subject, other topics, and a community of knowers (see Palmer, 1998).

Methods: Video data of educators teaching occupation were collected from a random, stratified sample of entry level OT and OTA programs as part of a larger study. Data are being secondarily analyzed by identifying video recorded events in which occupation was explicitly addressed, transcribing those events, and coding the transcripts using a priori codes related to subject-centered education. Thematic analysis is then applied to describe individual and linked elements of the model as well as identify gaps that are not represented in the data.

Findings: The stratified sample allowed the findings to be inclusive of different perspectives in occupational therapy education found in the U.S. Preliminary analysis indicates that in the classroom events where occupation is featured explicitly as the key idea, occupation is addressed in connection to other elements in the subject-centered education model, not typically as a topic unto itself.

Contribution to Occupational Science: One mission of occupational science has been to generate knowledge about occupation for occupational therapy. Education is one bridge between the science and the therapy. Developing a model that can help educators locate occupation more centrally in teaching and learning can help complete this mission of occupational science. By observing teaching of occupation, this study can also elucidate diverse understandings of occupation as it is operationalized in education.

References

Hooper, B. (2006). Beyond active learning: A case study of teaching practices in an occupation-centered curriculum. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(5), 551-62.

Hooper, B. (2010). On arriving at the destination of the centennial vision: Navigational landmarks to guide occupational therapy education. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 24(1), 97-106.

Palmer, P. J. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life (1st ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Whiteford, G.E. and Wilcock, A.A. (2001). Centralizing occupation in occupational therapy curricula: Imperative of the new millennium. Occupational Therapy International, 8(2), 81-85.

Yerxa, E.J. (1998). Occupation: The keystone of a curriculum for a self-defined profession. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52(5), 365-372.

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Oct 17th, 11:40 AM Oct 17th, 12:10 PM

Journey to the center: Exploring a subject-centered education model and the teaching of occupation

Soo Line

Objectives: Participants will:

  1. Understand subject-centered education and its conceptual relevance to occupational science and therapy.
  2. Discuss how subject-centered education was and wasn’t elaborated through this study.
  3. Discuss the implications and transferability of this study’s findings to international educational contexts.

For two decades, occupational scientists around the globe have urged the profession to prioritize placing occupation at the center of curricular designs and educational activities in order to advance occupational science and therapy (e.g., Yerxa, 1998; Whiteford & Wilcock, 2001). Therefore, a teaching model with occupation as a central organizing concept has international relevance as education is a key mechanism for disseminating knowledge of occupation. Due to its emphasis on designing learning around a core subject, subject-centered education has been proposed as one model for occupational therapy education (Hooper, 2006, 2010). However, the elements of the model and their transactive links have not been empirically elaborated.

Purpose: This study in progress uses classroom video recordings of educators teaching occupation to explore which elements of a subject-centered model are present and in what configuration. Elements include occupation as subject, other topics, and a community of knowers (see Palmer, 1998).

Methods: Video data of educators teaching occupation were collected from a random, stratified sample of entry level OT and OTA programs as part of a larger study. Data are being secondarily analyzed by identifying video recorded events in which occupation was explicitly addressed, transcribing those events, and coding the transcripts using a priori codes related to subject-centered education. Thematic analysis is then applied to describe individual and linked elements of the model as well as identify gaps that are not represented in the data.

Findings: The stratified sample allowed the findings to be inclusive of different perspectives in occupational therapy education found in the U.S. Preliminary analysis indicates that in the classroom events where occupation is featured explicitly as the key idea, occupation is addressed in connection to other elements in the subject-centered education model, not typically as a topic unto itself.

Contribution to Occupational Science: One mission of occupational science has been to generate knowledge about occupation for occupational therapy. Education is one bridge between the science and the therapy. Developing a model that can help educators locate occupation more centrally in teaching and learning can help complete this mission of occupational science. By observing teaching of occupation, this study can also elucidate diverse understandings of occupation as it is operationalized in education.