Title

How to Balance Teaching the Conceptual and Practice-based Products of Occupational Science with Teaching the Science Itself

1

Location

Studio 2

Start Time

20-10-2017 9:30 AM

End Time

20-10-2017 11:30 AM

Session Type

Forum

Abstract

Aims/Intent: To present, and explore implications from, a study conducted by the forum team on how educational programs addressed occupation, with particular attention to how educators represented occupational science (Hooper, et al., 2016).

Rationale: The forum team used a basic qualitative research design to explore how occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant programs in the US addressed occupation. All educational programs were stratified by geographical region and institutional type and then randomly selected. Key informants from twenty-five programs were interviewed about how they addressed occupation and were asked to submit representative artifacts and videorecorded class sessions. Data were coded using both inductive and deductive coding strategies. This forum presents data coded as ‘occupational science.’ These data suggested occupational science was infused in occupational therapy education through the concepts and research findings the science has generated, which were sometimes translated by educators for practice. Occupational science was a label for a few assignments and was a topic within lectures on the historical development of occupational therapy. The data reviewed rarely included teaching the science itself.

Based on these findings, the forum explores with participants these questions:

  1. Clark (2006) claimed that “theoretical fragmentation” could threaten the sustainability of occupational science. Is distributing and teaching the products of occupational science across a curriculum, detached from learning the science itself, a form of theoretical fragmentation?
  2. How might learning concepts derived from occupational science apart from learning about the scientific discipline—the commitments, processes and people that collectively birthed those concepts—affect students’ professional identities?
  3. If educators teach occupational science concepts applied to therapy and detached from the science itself, how might that support or detract from a translation and implementation occupational science (Wright-St.Clair & Hocking, 2014)?
  4. What resources are needed to support teaching occupational science itself in addition to the products of the science?

Intended Participant Outcomes:

  1. To unify teaching occupational science with teaching the conceptual and practice-based products of the science;
  2. To generate pedagogical approaches and resources that increase the presence of occupational science in education.
  3. To clarify the importance of a systematic translational occupational science in light of educators’ informal “translation” of occupational science concepts for practice.

References

Hooper, B., Krishnagiri, S., Taff, S. D., Price, P., & Bilics, A. (2016). Teaching knowledge generated through occupational science and teaching the science itself. Journal of Occupational Science, 23(4), 525-531.

Clark, F. (2006). One person's thoughts on the future of occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 13(2-3), 167-179.

Wright-St.Clair, V. & Hocking, C. (2014). Occuaptional science: The study of occupation. In B. A. Schell, G., Gillen, M., Scaffa, & E. S Cohn (Eds) Willard and Spackman's occupational therapy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (12th ed, pp. 82-93). Philadelphia, PA: LWW.

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Oct 20th, 9:30 AM Oct 20th, 11:30 AM

How to Balance Teaching the Conceptual and Practice-based Products of Occupational Science with Teaching the Science Itself

Studio 2

Aims/Intent: To present, and explore implications from, a study conducted by the forum team on how educational programs addressed occupation, with particular attention to how educators represented occupational science (Hooper, et al., 2016).

Rationale: The forum team used a basic qualitative research design to explore how occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant programs in the US addressed occupation. All educational programs were stratified by geographical region and institutional type and then randomly selected. Key informants from twenty-five programs were interviewed about how they addressed occupation and were asked to submit representative artifacts and videorecorded class sessions. Data were coded using both inductive and deductive coding strategies. This forum presents data coded as ‘occupational science.’ These data suggested occupational science was infused in occupational therapy education through the concepts and research findings the science has generated, which were sometimes translated by educators for practice. Occupational science was a label for a few assignments and was a topic within lectures on the historical development of occupational therapy. The data reviewed rarely included teaching the science itself.

Based on these findings, the forum explores with participants these questions:

  1. Clark (2006) claimed that “theoretical fragmentation” could threaten the sustainability of occupational science. Is distributing and teaching the products of occupational science across a curriculum, detached from learning the science itself, a form of theoretical fragmentation?
  2. How might learning concepts derived from occupational science apart from learning about the scientific discipline—the commitments, processes and people that collectively birthed those concepts—affect students’ professional identities?
  3. If educators teach occupational science concepts applied to therapy and detached from the science itself, how might that support or detract from a translation and implementation occupational science (Wright-St.Clair & Hocking, 2014)?
  4. What resources are needed to support teaching occupational science itself in addition to the products of the science?

Intended Participant Outcomes:

  1. To unify teaching occupational science with teaching the conceptual and practice-based products of the science;
  2. To generate pedagogical approaches and resources that increase the presence of occupational science in education.
  3. To clarify the importance of a systematic translational occupational science in light of educators’ informal “translation” of occupational science concepts for practice.