One of the characteristic features of 21st century learning (and yes, this applies to physiotherapy too), is a distrust of authoritative voices that once told us what was true and what was false, who to believe and why. It seems todays generation of learners - saturated with so many competing claims on their attention and perspective - are much less comfortable with authoritative voices that were once happy to be so authoritarian. So Dave Cormier's recent post challenging our thoughts about the word 'content' and its meaning in education are very much in keeping with this trend. Cormier raises some really interesting questions directly applicable the learning often offered to health … [Read more...] about Arguments against content
Earlier this week we asked Karen Atkinson, CPN member, Physiotherapy Professional Lead at University of Hertfordshire, and contributor to the Project Advisory Group that helped produce the WCPT's recent briefing paper Access to physical therapist entry level education and practice for persons with disabilities, to comment on the paper and provide some background. Karen has longstanding expertise in supporting disabled students and qualified professionals during their education and employment and real insights into the process that made this important report possible. Karen kindly provided us with the following overview: As someone who has worked to support disabled students and qualified … [Read more...] about Disabled physiotherapists – Karen Atkinson comment
There has been a move in education for a number of years now that has focused on what Jan Meyer and Ray Land call Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge (Meyer and Land, 2006). These are ideas that students really struggle to grasp. We've all experienced it. For me it was mathematical formulae. I could never understand why it was that the maths teachers stepped through equations the way that they did. I didn't know the rules and they did an appalling job of explaining them to me. I fumbled around trying to make sense of my ignorance before giving up. But the fact that I've never forgotten this, and keep returning to it is a telling point. Meyer and Land argue that these … [Read more...] about Why a grand vision might be bad for your practice (and your soul)
There are many critical thinkers interested in education, particularly since the advent of the internet; distributive learning technologies like Google, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter; and personal computing. This video will resonate with a lot of CPN members and others who work with students, in university and college programmes, and with the challenges of thinking 'otherwise' about learning and teaching in physiotherapy, medicine, health care, and elsewhere. In this video, Gardner Campbell from Baylor University talks about why it is that the widespread availability of the Internet and social media haven't yet managed to really penetrate the university. We're not talking here about … [Read more...] about How 21st century (higher) education can, and must change
It's only a few months since the last WCPT meeting in Singapore, but plans are already taking shape for the next Congress. Over the last few days, WCPT has been asking what people want in South Africa, and calling for some input from the broader physiotherapy community. So it would seem like a golden opportunity to push for more activities, forums, opportunities and speakers who can promote critical thinking and practice. There is a Survey Monkey poll that you can complete here (deadline 7th October), and WCPT has announced its Scientific Committee - the people who will decide what gets into the programme and what doesn't. The committee comprises: Professor Dina Brooks … [Read more...] about Want more critical physiotherapy at WCPT in 2017?
When I entered physiotherapy training in the 1980s, there was a rule at my school that said you had to be more than 5 feet tall to gain entry. I wonder what the people who had made this rule would think about my school recently graduating our first tetraplegic student? Times change, and people's priorities change too. A quick scan through textbooks from the 20th century and you will see that physiotherapy was once dominated by young white women. Now we recruit a lot more men, mature students and people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Part of the reasons for this shift has been the need for physiotherapists to be more representative of the populations they serve, and to achieve … [Read more...] about New: Students
A new paper from Mershen Pillay (CPN member) and Harsha Kathard titled Decolonizing health professional education has just been published by the African Journal of Rhetoric. The paper explores how higher education practice is failing the majority population in South Africa, and offers some critical insights into the nature of 'othering' that is prevalent in many health education programmes around the world. Abstract We argue that there is an urgent need to transform how we educate health professionals in South Africa. We focus on Audiology and Speech-Language Therapy, which are health professions that manage people with communication disorders and swallowing difficulties. Our … [Read more...] about Decolonizing health professional education