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Title: Reflective practice in occupational therapy : a case study of the experience at the University of Liverpool
Author: Couch, Rae F.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2004
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Abstract:
In the last ten years there have been many changes to health care delivery, and higher education in preparing students for professional practice. Occupational therapy has had to meet these demands by being more challenging and evaluative of the care they deliver. One way this has been addressed is through the inclusion of reflective thinking and reflective practice into the undergraduate curriculum of occupational therapy. This research looks at how reflective practice has been developed within the Course curriculum of Occupational Therapy at The University of Liverpool with the aims of investigating and establishing - • How the notion of reflective practice has been incorporated into the curriculum overtime • How students' perceptions of reflective practice have changed over time • How the changes in curriculum design are related to the values students place on reflection and reflective practice. The methodology uses a case study design involving document analysis. Three sources of data were gathered from: Public Records, Private Papers of students and Biographical teaching notes of staff. Findings: Several factors have emerged that have implications for future practice both in occupational therapy and other health science professions. When reflection is not explicitly taught and/or where reflection is only considered as a discrete part of a curriculum, students are unable to incorporate reflection into their daily practice. Students' capacity to develop reflective skills leads to students acquiring reflective abilities at differing levels and therefore curriculum design needs to provide practical ways in which students can enrich their reflective practice competencies. To be reflective a number of cognitive skills need to be taught and developed in order for reflection to be effective. Students also need to be taught how reflection works in practice and how their personal reflective abilities impact on the benefit to clients.Recommendations It is suggested that future curriculum design should embrace a model of education which encourages opportunities for 'learners' to develop their capacities which are fundamental to competent reflective practice and the acquisition of knowledge that should proceed interactively with reflecting about real practical situations. One possible consideration would be to identify early on in the course the students' reflective thinking, using a scheme for assessing students' writing and then employ a . variety of teaching strategies that bring together the material used and found in the progress of this study. Tutors need to be mindful that the teaching of reflection does not necessarily require changes in what is taught but instead more emphasis is needed on how to incorporate thinking skills into a repertoire of knowledge. Tutors also need to make more explicit the links reflection has with the skills of problem solving and clinical reasoning so that students can learn to "reflect effectively and practice reflectively" (Burton, 2000).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.400241  DOI: Not available
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