Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

practice education Related Abstracts

2 Pracademia in Irish Higher Education: The Only Solution to Contemporary Regulation in Professional Social Care Practice

Authors: Aoife Prendergast


The synergy between theory and practice can be considered elusive, the touchstone for the development of successful undergraduate programmes particularly in allied health professions such as social care. A 'pracademic' is a person who spans both the somewhat ethereal world of academia as a scholar and the pragmatic world of practice. This paper examines the concept of 'pracademia' in relation to the role of the social care practitioner and continuing professional development. It also assists in the understanding of the synergy between social care professionals and higher education. A consideration of the identity and position in terms of approach to regulation is explored as well as an acknowledgement of the strengths and opportunities for sharing power in hierarchical positions. The world of practice serves as the centre point of the academic compass for most professional programs. Just as schools of engineering and law are disciplined by the marketplace, which seeks well-trained students, so our social care programmes must perennially find ways to address the fast changing needs of practitioners, whether they be government, not-for-profit organizations, consulting firms or contractors. We may not expect such traditional academic disciplines as history, sociology, or political science to cater to the needs of external audiences or practitioners— indeed, these disciplines' insulation from public concerns and issues is considered a strength by some. This paper aims to explore the integration of academic teaching and research with the communities of practice in social care. This appears to be a fundamental aspiration of the social care profession. While building and integrating an important body of academic theory and concepts from a variety of disciplines, social care as a field has embraced a professional orientation by seeking to be relevant to practitioners at various levels. While teaching theory, social care programmes, and faculty are often acutely aware that their academic content and credibility, in part, rest on a deep connection with practitioners. While theory can be self-contained, the impact of our research and teaching arguably finds its most compelling and highest audience when it addresses the agenda items and concerns of practitioners.

Keywords: supervision, social care, pracademia, practice education

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1 Students’ and Clinical Supervisors’ Experiences of Occupational Therapy Practice Education: A Structured Critical Review

Authors: Hamad Alhamad, Catriona Khamisha, Emma Green, Yvonne Robb


Introduction: Practice education is a key component of occupational therapy education. This critical review aimed to explore students’ and clinical supervisors’ experiences of practice education, and to make recommendations for research. Method: The literature was systematically searched using five databases. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies were included. Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist for qualitative studies and Mixed Methods Assessment Tool for quantitative and mixed methods studies were used to assess study quality. Findings: Twenty-two studies with high quality scores were included: 16 qualitative, 3 quantitative and 3 mixed methods. Studies were conducted in Australia, Canada, USA and UK. During practice education, students learned professional skills, practical skills, clinical skills and problem-solving skills, and improved confidence and creativity. Supervisors had an opportunity to reflect on their practice and get experience of supervising students. However, clear objectives and expectations for students, and sufficient theoretical knowledge, preparation and resources for supervisors were required. Conclusion: Practice education provides different skills and experiences, necessary to become competent professionals; but some areas of practice education need to improve. Studies in non-western countries are needed to explore the perspectives of students and clinical supervisors in different cultures, to ensure the practice education models adopted are relevant.

Keywords: Occupational therapy, students, clinical supervisors, practice education, fieldwork

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