Title

Threading occupational science constructs across a curriculum: Preparing moral and global thinking practitioners

1

Location

Studio 2

Start Time

20-10-2017 4:45 PM

End Time

20-10-2017 5:45 PM

Session Type

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

Intent:

This theoretical paper presents one occupational therapy graduate school’s curriculum designed around enabling students’ increased awareness of others’ life situation, life options, and cultural values, and at the same time instilling in students the need for a life of learning that values diversity and advocacy for occupational justice across diverse populations. The presenters will share a curricular model that uses an approach to teaching and learning employing both classroom and authentic experiences, integrated through reflection, to support student mastery of content and the ability to think globally and morally about occupation.1 Finally, the presenters will share specific examples of curricular learning activities in which topics of race, power, and identity are interwoven throughout the two year curriculum.

Argument:

In order to practice as a moral health professional in today’s global context, an occupational therapist must value occupational diversity and be able to demonstrate empathy for all consumers, clients and/or families. Racism and implicit bias that leads to stereotyping and marginalization of under-represented individuals and groups is a threat to the health of all minoritized people and to society. Race, ethnicity, class, education, ability status, gender, and sexual orientation interact in a tacit system of advantage and disadvantage in our complex society. When students are guided to locate themselves in that system and to acknowledge unearned privileges or advantages that they have, then they are able to experience accurate empathy for less advantaged persons and to work for a more just distribution of occupational resources.2 This moral thinking and appreciation of occupational diversity underlies contemporary approaches to client-centeredness and therapeutic use of self, as well as the outcome of occupational justice in the practice of occupational therapy.3, 4

Importance to occupational science:

Occupational science is the conceptual and empirical basis for the practice of occupational therapy, and informs pedagogical approaches to teaching the epistemology of the discipline of occupational therapy. Occupational science scholars have posited the importance of disciplinary culture and moral and global thinking within occupational science in order to educate occupational therapists who are prepared to address issues of occupational injustice.1, 5

Conclusion:

Occupational therapy curricula built on principles of occupational science prepares students to be moral and global thinkers who are prepared to work for occupational justice and eradicate the disparities in occupational performance and quality of life that afflict our nation.

Questions to facilitate discussion:

  1. How can occupational therapy programs that are separate from programs in occupational science best incorporate constructs and principles of occupational science in their graduate program curriculum?
  2. What are some contemporary examples of how occupational science theory and research could be used to transform curriculum design and strengthen outcomes of social inclusion and diversity in occupation therapy programs?
  3. What types of learning experiences best prepare occupational therapy students to be moral and global thinkers about occupational justice?
  4. What is our current thinking about the relationship between occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy, and the essential interdisciplinary constructs, particularly in regards to moral and global thinking for occupational justice?

Keywords:

curriculum design, diversity, occupational justice, social inclusion

References

References:

  1. Frank, G. (2012). The 2010 Ruth Zemke Lecture in Occupational Science Occupational Therapy/Occupational Science/ Occupational Justice: Moral Commitments and Global Assemblages. Journal of Occupational Science, 19(1), 25-35.
  2. Goodman D. J. (2011). Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups. New York and London: Routledge.
  3. Gupta, J., & Taff, S. D. (2015). The illusion of client-centred practice. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 22(4), 244–251.
  4. Pitonyak, J. S., Mroz, T. M., & Fogelberg, D. (2015). Expanding client-centred thinking to include social determinants: A practical scenario based on the occupation of breastfeeding. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 22(4), 277-282.
  5. Rudman, D. L., Dennbardt, S., Fok, 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.

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Oct 20th, 4:45 PM Oct 20th, 5:45 PM

Threading occupational science constructs across a curriculum: Preparing moral and global thinking practitioners

Studio 2

Intent:

This theoretical paper presents one occupational therapy graduate school’s curriculum designed around enabling students’ increased awareness of others’ life situation, life options, and cultural values, and at the same time instilling in students the need for a life of learning that values diversity and advocacy for occupational justice across diverse populations. The presenters will share a curricular model that uses an approach to teaching and learning employing both classroom and authentic experiences, integrated through reflection, to support student mastery of content and the ability to think globally and morally about occupation.1 Finally, the presenters will share specific examples of curricular learning activities in which topics of race, power, and identity are interwoven throughout the two year curriculum.

Argument:

In order to practice as a moral health professional in today’s global context, an occupational therapist must value occupational diversity and be able to demonstrate empathy for all consumers, clients and/or families. Racism and implicit bias that leads to stereotyping and marginalization of under-represented individuals and groups is a threat to the health of all minoritized people and to society. Race, ethnicity, class, education, ability status, gender, and sexual orientation interact in a tacit system of advantage and disadvantage in our complex society. When students are guided to locate themselves in that system and to acknowledge unearned privileges or advantages that they have, then they are able to experience accurate empathy for less advantaged persons and to work for a more just distribution of occupational resources.2 This moral thinking and appreciation of occupational diversity underlies contemporary approaches to client-centeredness and therapeutic use of self, as well as the outcome of occupational justice in the practice of occupational therapy.3, 4

Importance to occupational science:

Occupational science is the conceptual and empirical basis for the practice of occupational therapy, and informs pedagogical approaches to teaching the epistemology of the discipline of occupational therapy. Occupational science scholars have posited the importance of disciplinary culture and moral and global thinking within occupational science in order to educate occupational therapists who are prepared to address issues of occupational injustice.1, 5

Conclusion:

Occupational therapy curricula built on principles of occupational science prepares students to be moral and global thinkers who are prepared to work for occupational justice and eradicate the disparities in occupational performance and quality of life that afflict our nation.

Questions to facilitate discussion:

  1. How can occupational therapy programs that are separate from programs in occupational science best incorporate constructs and principles of occupational science in their graduate program curriculum?
  2. What are some contemporary examples of how occupational science theory and research could be used to transform curriculum design and strengthen outcomes of social inclusion and diversity in occupation therapy programs?
  3. What types of learning experiences best prepare occupational therapy students to be moral and global thinkers about occupational justice?
  4. What is our current thinking about the relationship between occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy, and the essential interdisciplinary constructs, particularly in regards to moral and global thinking for occupational justice?

Keywords:

curriculum design, diversity, occupational justice, social inclusion