Title

Exploration of the relationship of humanities and occupational science

1

Location

Studio 3

Start Time

20-10-2017 9:30 AM

End Time

20-10-2017 11:30 AM

Session Type

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

Key words: Humanities, Epistemology, Arts

Intent: This session is designed to prompt dialogue about the relationship between the humanities (including arts) and occupational science, and the significance of blurring or distinguishing these epistemic communities.

Argument: Occupational science (OS) is frequently positioned in the social sciences branch of knowledge, in contrast to the physical and biological sciences, or the humanities. Whereas, social sciences typically focus on human behavior, the humanities explore the human condition through visual art, literature, dance, music, drama, history, philosophy and language. Humanities are infused with emotion, and move beyond science and language. Early in the development of OS, humanities were identified as offering important methodologies (Carlson and Clark, 1991). Humanities offer sharper instruments to explore the range and depth of human experience (Belling, 2010).

Yerxa & Sharrott (1986) have argued that the humanities can contribute to learning about occupation, and are part of a liberal arts base for understanding the human condition, and for cultivating critical thinking and ethical reasoning. From a pedagogical perspective humanities-informed learning, such as art making, can engage students in interactive, inquisitive and imaginative experiences (Dewey, 1934). Humanities such as dance, poetry, writing, and photography, are commonly depicted in the OS literature, and frequently depict lessons about culture, aesthetics, transactions and intentions. Furthermore, methodologies such as narrative and arts-based inquiry, are increasingly being incorporated into occupational science scholarship.

Smith, Molineux, Rowe, and Larkinson (2006) enumerated benefits of health humanities to appreciate the complexity and diversity of human experience, and meanings of illness, loss, and suffering, and to connect personal and professional knowledge and experience. Humanities may be especially important as a counterbalance to discourses in biomedicine that overshadow the epistemological significance of experiences of individuals and communities (Kinsella and Whiteford, 2009).

Importance to occupational science: Consideration of the place of the humanities in occupational science opens a dialogue of epistemological significance to the field.

Conclusion: Exploring the possibilities of humanities for understanding occupations and and the human condition is important for the OS discipline.

Questions:

How do social forces pose risks and benefits for occupational science in blurring distinctions between, and defining a relationship with the humanities?

How might the humanities deepen understandings of occupation as it relates to the human condition, including issues such as justice, quality of life, and well-being?

What contributions might humanities informed scholarship offer to the field of occupational science? How might such work be enacted?

References

Carlson, M. E., & Clark, F. A. (1991). The search for useful methodologies in occupational science. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45(3), 235-241.

Dewey, J. (1934/1958). Art as experience. New York: Capricorn Books.

Kinsella, E. A., & Whiteford, G. E. (2009). Knowledge generation and utilisation in occupational therapy: Towards epistemic reflexivity. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 56(4), 249-258.

Smith, S., Molineux, M., Rowe, N., & Larkinson, L. (2006). Integrating medical humanities into physiotherapy and occupational therapy education. International Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation, 13(9).

Yerxa, E. J., & Sharrott, G. (1986). Liberal arts: The foundation for occupational therapy education. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 40(3), 153-159.

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

Exploration of the relationship of humanities and occupational science

Studio 3

Key words: Humanities, Epistemology, Arts

Intent: This session is designed to prompt dialogue about the relationship between the humanities (including arts) and occupational science, and the significance of blurring or distinguishing these epistemic communities.

Argument: Occupational science (OS) is frequently positioned in the social sciences branch of knowledge, in contrast to the physical and biological sciences, or the humanities. Whereas, social sciences typically focus on human behavior, the humanities explore the human condition through visual art, literature, dance, music, drama, history, philosophy and language. Humanities are infused with emotion, and move beyond science and language. Early in the development of OS, humanities were identified as offering important methodologies (Carlson and Clark, 1991). Humanities offer sharper instruments to explore the range and depth of human experience (Belling, 2010).

Yerxa & Sharrott (1986) have argued that the humanities can contribute to learning about occupation, and are part of a liberal arts base for understanding the human condition, and for cultivating critical thinking and ethical reasoning. From a pedagogical perspective humanities-informed learning, such as art making, can engage students in interactive, inquisitive and imaginative experiences (Dewey, 1934). Humanities such as dance, poetry, writing, and photography, are commonly depicted in the OS literature, and frequently depict lessons about culture, aesthetics, transactions and intentions. Furthermore, methodologies such as narrative and arts-based inquiry, are increasingly being incorporated into occupational science scholarship.

Smith, Molineux, Rowe, and Larkinson (2006) enumerated benefits of health humanities to appreciate the complexity and diversity of human experience, and meanings of illness, loss, and suffering, and to connect personal and professional knowledge and experience. Humanities may be especially important as a counterbalance to discourses in biomedicine that overshadow the epistemological significance of experiences of individuals and communities (Kinsella and Whiteford, 2009).

Importance to occupational science: Consideration of the place of the humanities in occupational science opens a dialogue of epistemological significance to the field.

Conclusion: Exploring the possibilities of humanities for understanding occupations and and the human condition is important for the OS discipline.

Questions:

How do social forces pose risks and benefits for occupational science in blurring distinctions between, and defining a relationship with the humanities?

How might the humanities deepen understandings of occupation as it relates to the human condition, including issues such as justice, quality of life, and well-being?

What contributions might humanities informed scholarship offer to the field of occupational science? How might such work be enacted?