Title

Bridging occupation science and public health perspectives in an international educational exchange

1

Location

Great Room 1A & 1B

Start Time

20-10-2017 9:30 AM

End Time

20-10-2017 11:30 AM

Session Type

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

Intent: We will describe a partnership between three universities, two in Norway and one in Canada, in order to illustrate how the integration of occupational science and public health perspectives on diverse health determinants contributed to interdisciplinary graduate education through a collaborative international exchange. Two specific initiatives will be addressed: the development of integrated occupational science and public health curriculum materials, and the participation of students from each country in courses at the institutions overseas.

Argument: The conditions of everyday life and the occupations these conditions enable are well recognized as key determinants of health and well-being within occupational science, occupational therapy and public health. Within occupational science in particular, there is growing recognition that full realization of the vision of health promotion through occupation requires expanding beyond individual-level approaches in order to address socio-political conditions that contribute to occupational inequities and injustices. It is also clear that public health initiatives need to take into account the circumstances in which people live and work, as well as occupational opportunities across various realms in order to enhance health equity. As such, educational initiatives that bring together occupational science, occupational therapy and public health provide a useful approach in addressing the complexity of factors that shape life circumstances and occupational possibilities as a means to promote health. Promoting interdisciplinary graduate education through international exchange also contributes a useful experiential learning approach.

Importance to Occupational Science: A key outcome of this educational exchange has been its translation into interdisciplinary research conducted by graduate students that was co-supervised by public health and occupational scholars from both countries. International and interdisciplinary collaboration in education and research can expand the reach and potential impacts of occupation-based knowledge by informing health promotion work. Exposure to the various aspects of this partnership has contributed to new knowledge that can better prepare future researchers and practitioners for working in diverse settings, and may, as suggested by Zemke (2016), inspire students to link across disciplines to address social issues of relevance to occupation, health and well-being.

Conclusion: In travelling abroad and working as part of internationally collaborative teams to study occupational science, occupational therapy, and public health, students and faculty participating in the interdisciplinary educational exchange program have had diverse opportunities to broaden their focus to ‘the social’ and expand their own disciplinary location.

Discussion questions:

How can international educational opportunities also contribute to students’ understanding of occupation as a culturally-informed and situated construct?

How could similar partnerships with other relevant disciplines be forged and what novel contributions could be made by occupational scientists to interdisciplinary education and research?

What challenges threaten the sustainability of such international institutional partnerships and what strategies can be used to ensure their continued success?

Key words: education, international exchange, social determinants of health

References

Farias, L., Rudman, D. L., & Magalhães, L. (2016). Illustrating the importance of critical epistemology to realize the promise of occupational justice. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 36(4), 234-243.

Leclair, L. (2010). Re-examining concepts of occupation and occupation-based models: Occupational therapy and community development. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(1), 15-19.

Townsend, E., Stone, S. D., Angelucci, T., Howey, M., Johnston, D., & Lawlor, S. (2009). Linking occupation and place in community health. Journal of Occupational Science, 16(1), 50-55.

Zemke, R. (2016). Extending occupational science education. Journal of Occupational Science 23(4): 510-513.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

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

Bridging occupation science and public health perspectives in an international educational exchange

Great Room 1A & 1B

Intent: We will describe a partnership between three universities, two in Norway and one in Canada, in order to illustrate how the integration of occupational science and public health perspectives on diverse health determinants contributed to interdisciplinary graduate education through a collaborative international exchange. Two specific initiatives will be addressed: the development of integrated occupational science and public health curriculum materials, and the participation of students from each country in courses at the institutions overseas.

Argument: The conditions of everyday life and the occupations these conditions enable are well recognized as key determinants of health and well-being within occupational science, occupational therapy and public health. Within occupational science in particular, there is growing recognition that full realization of the vision of health promotion through occupation requires expanding beyond individual-level approaches in order to address socio-political conditions that contribute to occupational inequities and injustices. It is also clear that public health initiatives need to take into account the circumstances in which people live and work, as well as occupational opportunities across various realms in order to enhance health equity. As such, educational initiatives that bring together occupational science, occupational therapy and public health provide a useful approach in addressing the complexity of factors that shape life circumstances and occupational possibilities as a means to promote health. Promoting interdisciplinary graduate education through international exchange also contributes a useful experiential learning approach.

Importance to Occupational Science: A key outcome of this educational exchange has been its translation into interdisciplinary research conducted by graduate students that was co-supervised by public health and occupational scholars from both countries. International and interdisciplinary collaboration in education and research can expand the reach and potential impacts of occupation-based knowledge by informing health promotion work. Exposure to the various aspects of this partnership has contributed to new knowledge that can better prepare future researchers and practitioners for working in diverse settings, and may, as suggested by Zemke (2016), inspire students to link across disciplines to address social issues of relevance to occupation, health and well-being.

Conclusion: In travelling abroad and working as part of internationally collaborative teams to study occupational science, occupational therapy, and public health, students and faculty participating in the interdisciplinary educational exchange program have had diverse opportunities to broaden their focus to ‘the social’ and expand their own disciplinary location.

Discussion questions:

How can international educational opportunities also contribute to students’ understanding of occupation as a culturally-informed and situated construct?

How could similar partnerships with other relevant disciplines be forged and what novel contributions could be made by occupational scientists to interdisciplinary education and research?

What challenges threaten the sustainability of such international institutional partnerships and what strategies can be used to ensure their continued success?

Key words: education, international exchange, social determinants of health