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
This post was published earlier on Michael Rowe's blog. Micheal is a member of the Critical Physiotherapy Network and has given permission to reproduce his blogpost here. David Nicholls at Critical Physiotherapy recently blogged about how we might think about access to physiotherapy education, and offers the metaphor of a gated community as one possibility. The staff act as the guards at the gateway to the profession and the gate is a threshold across which students pass only when they have demonstrated the right to enter the community. This got me thinking about the metaphors we use as academics, particularly those that guide how we think about our role as examiners. David’s … [Read more...] about Are we gatekeepers, or locksmiths?
The short video below (its just over 6 mins), previews a new paper (link here) by Bronwyn Davies, who is a fabulous educational thinker and scholar. Here she talks about how it's getting harder and harder to think in a climate that is increasingly anti-intellectual and anti-critique. She suggests that the threats of neo-liberalism reach into all spheres of our life and achieve their effects without us realising their power. Davies calls for a new spirit of critique. … [Read more...] about The (im)possibility of thinking under neoliberalism
Guest post by Michael Rowe The beginning of the 21st century has seen more technological advances than any other time in our history, at an accelerating rate of change. At the time of writing, we are seeing the introduction of robotics, gene therapy and nanotechnology into larger and larger aspects of health care which, when combined with advances in computing power that will soon exceed the processing power of the human brain, we seem poised on the brink of a shift in our understanding of what it means to be human. In addition to the obvious influence of information and communication technology on social structures, we are also experiencing a shift from vertical communication structures … [Read more...] about Physiotherapy education for the 21st century
Here is an update on some recent posts from around the Internet that may be of interest: What scientific idea is ready for retirement? From Brian Christian at Edge.com Scientific Knowledge Should Be Structured as "Literature" In my view, what's most outmoded within science, most badly in need of retirement, is the way we structure and organize scientific knowledge itself. Academic literature, even as it moves online, is a relic of the era of typesetting, modeled on static, irrevocable, toothpaste-out-of-the-tube publication. Just as the software industry has moved from a "waterfall" process to an "agile" process—from monolithic releases shipped from warehouses of mass-produced disks to … [Read more...] about Posts worth reading – update on interesting posts and ideas from around the web
Gender is an issue that has become increasingly important in physiotherapy scholarship in recent years. The first time research by a physiotherapist that specifically addressed this question was a paper by Anne Parry with what must still be the best title for any research paper ever written: Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did backwards and in high heels (pdf). The paper still resonates strongly with me and has some important things to say about our professions gendered history. Anders Ottosson's seminal work on the 'feminization' of physiotherapy in 19th century still stands as one of the most important works on the subject, but there are other important works too, and these … [Read more...] about Three theses on gender and physiotherapy