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Transformative Learning In Honours Csu Ed 2009

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Transformative Learning In Honours Csu Ed 2009

  1. 1.   Transformative learning through honours : the experience of allied health students Caroline Robinson School of Community Health With thanks to Mike Keppell and Stephen Loftus
  2. 2. Background to the study <ul><li>Research problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively small numbers of allied health students interested in honours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academically able students often choose not to enrol in honours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the experience of allied health honours students? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Study methodology <ul><li>Informed by social constructionism </li></ul><ul><li>Research framework founded on hermeneutic phenomenology </li></ul><ul><li>Research participants </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>total of 10 students from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology at both Charles Sturt University and La Trobe University </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>integrated honours programme over 12-24 months </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>series of 3 interviews/student over the course of honours </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Advanced disciplinary knowledge Research training Production of a substantial independent research thesis Core features common to honours curricula Kiley, M., Nursoo, I., Boud, D., Cantwell, R., Manathunga, C., & Pike, M. (2009). Honours: where does the future lie? Preliminary findings of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Project: The role of honours in contemporary Australian higher education. Centre for Educational Development and Academic Methods at the Australian National University. cartoonstock.com
  5. 5. The theme of ‘learning’ is emerging from preliminary analysis of the data. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Research community of practice
  6. 6. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Extending professional knowledge Research community of practice
  7. 7. Extending professional knowledge <ul><li>“ I’ve enjoyed that aspect of clinical practice so far and I’m really interested in understanding more of the biomechanics of the different foot types……….. that really interests me so I’d really like to know quite a lot about that………. so that’s why I went for the topic that I did”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s the background knowledge that I’m gaining from the research that’s helped me. I teach ballet and the reading that I’ve done so far has given me a greater understanding of the capacities of the body and what you shouldn’t be doing……… I’m not sure, but I think it would make me a better practitioner”. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Research community of practice
  9. 9. Developing clinical practice <ul><li>“ Well with my area of interest…………….we're looking at osteoarthritis in the 1st MTP joint and I've always been interested since the first year in biomechanics……….so it seems like now it's just like narrowing down the interest and seeing OK this is an area where I can develop my interest in the research and then tie that in with clinical experience”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think evidence based practice is probably a good approach so doing this honours project will give me an indication of this population group, so that if I do see similar patients I would possibly do some tests on them just to make they’re not at risk ………so the honours project can directly affect practice.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Developing clinical practice <ul><li>“ Like at the moment I feel like they’re two separate things when I know in reality they’re not, they’re quite linked because without the research how can you go on to do the clinical practice…………because research provides guidelines, standards and protocols for the clinical practice. But at the moment I feel like there is no associatio,n because maybe I’m so focused on the research that I feel like I’ve lost that clinical side of it”. </li></ul>
  11. 11. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge
  12. 12. Learning about occupational practice <ul><li>“ Well really the reason why I did physiotherapy was to get into dance and to look at dancers. I’m thinking that if I have a better understanding of the problems that are occurring to them, it will make me a better practitioner as well. So not just the research but the practical side as well”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’ve only started teaching (ballet) this year and I think it’s been really beneficial to see the research that I’m reading and then look at the population I’m researching and the same things are coming out………….I should research that because this is happening to all of these girls but there’s nothing on it. So it’s giving me insight into where the research needs to be as well”. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Learning about occupational practice <ul><li>“ I work as a respite carer with disabled kids so I spend a lot of time with them and it's just interesting to look at other aspects of their lives that I don't have much to do with………….it's just interesting for me to get a clearer picture and a broader understanding of what it's like for them. I suppose it then links back into the professional stuff because that'll help”. </li></ul>
  14. 14. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Research community of practice
  15. 15. Learning about writing <ul><li>“ I think it will be a good experience and the writing skills thing…….I know I have the potential to write better than I do, so I think that’ll be a good way to do it”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I do like writing and I’ve struggled with it over the past few years but I think as I’m doing more I’m getting better and I just wanted the input from someone who would be seeing it consistently throughout the two years…………to just try and improve, so the learning process along the way was a big thing for me”. </li></ul>
  16. 16. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge
  17. 17. Learning about research <ul><li>“ I think another thing about the honours level is it provides the foundations for research and I found this year that there are a lot of new areas in terms of research, tools I suppose, basic research tools that I’m learning through this year”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I've certainly learnt how to research articles and things better than I was doing before, but that's also been really useful for other subjects. I've just got a better idea of how to search effectively, how to put terms together and then we've just started to narrow down what my question is. So it's been interesting to see the process of how the lecturers actually do it; people who've done it before know how to narrow things down.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Learning about research <ul><li>“ Who knows what you want to do in 10 years, you might want to go back and do research , you might not want to be just clinically based , so later on I’d like to possibly do a PhD…………..and having honours is going to help that process whereas it would be a lot harder if you didn’t do honours”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ So it just opens a lot more doors………….you don’t know what research is all about whereas you’ve had a taste of it in honours”. </li></ul>
  19. 19. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Working with a supervisor
  20. 20. Learning to work with a research supervisor <ul><li>“ A sense of direction and clarification on a lot of points that are jumbling around in my head and a specific pathway that I need to take. I think that’s what I get from my supervisor.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is a lot of individual work that you’ve got to do, but it’s keeping on the ball with my supervisors……………and I’m writing my emails to them and that’s really keeping me on the ball and instead of just having to meet my own expectations I’m telling someone else, so then I have to follow through with it which is a good thing for me”. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Learning to work with a research supervisor <ul><li>“ I generally get things done, assignments and things done well before they're due……….I'm usually pretty good at planning. But it's probably harder to do it for honours when there's not just me involved in doing it. I've got to co-ordinate things with my supervisors. Just because you put in drafts……….it's probably harder to get it done early I guess”. </li></ul>
  22. 22. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Working with a supervisor Research community of practice
  23. 23. Learning about the research community of practice <ul><li>“ I really like the idea of being part of something bigger……….I’m the smallest part of it, but it’s pretty exciting to say yeah I was in the making of that and changing things……….. so that’s kind off egged me on to want to contribute I guess”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ There's just so much to be done…………I would be more than happy if I did go on to do a PhD, to work with the people here at the faculty. They're all very passionate and they put a lot of emphasis on the importance of research and I think that's a good thing...............going back again to the development of the profession”. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Learning about the research community of practice <ul><li>“…… .in terms of the relationship with the staff you definitely do get close with them and you get to know them on a different level. So I suppose the perception from them is quite different as well. They talk to you on a different level……..they may even express their frustration about their studies, how they overcame it, what they learnt from it and how you may want to consider that………..a personal and a professional level”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ It feels like an acceptance and I feel by being part of this honours stream, as if they look at me on a different level. ………so I feel like I’m part of that circle they have formed”. </li></ul>
  25. 25. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Working with a supervisor Research community of practice Learning about self
  26. 26. Learning about self <ul><li>“……… .it’s more independent learning with not a lot of guidance and I think that’s something new to me, so it’s really enabling me to go and think really quite wide and try and think of a better way to do something”. </li></ul><ul><li>“…… .we have to be very organized obviously and it’s not like the other subjects where you go to class. You really have to do some kind of timeline to make sure you’re not falling back, so I think it’s very self-directed work……….it’s very hard to keep doing that and it’s very easy to let it slip”. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Learning about self <ul><li>“ Oh I have learnt so much about myself. I've actually learnt to slow down a bit and enjoy life. I've been running a bit too hard these last couple of years and now I'm there just relax and enjoy it and take time to sit back and appreciate the hard work I've done and where I am now. ………I've dropped back my part-time work hours dramatically and my work load has become more relaxed at uni and I'm just enjoying life in general a lot more…………everything's just coming back into perspective”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think it (honours) has positively impacted on my confidence”. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Learning about self <ul><li>“ I have learnt that I have a greater capacity to adapt to new things like researching which I previously wasn’t interested in, but different things are interesting me now. And I think that I’ve just changed to a different way of thinking. I’m not sure what that is but I just feel differently about research and reading and findings. Yeah I’m not sure……….it’s a bit confusing”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’ve learned that I am capable of this….. I used to always think “what am I doing ……can I even do this?” and now I look at it and (think) yes I can if I just keep my mind to it.” </li></ul>
  29. 29. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Research community of practice
  30. 30. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Extending professional knowledge Research community of practice
  31. 31. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Research community of practice
  32. 32. What do students learn through honours? Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge
  33. 33. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Research community of practice
  34. 34. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge
  35. 35. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Working with a supervisor
  36. 36. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Working with a supervisor Research community of practice
  37. 37. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Working with a supervisor Research community of practice Learning about self
  38. 38. What do students learn through honours? Learning about writing Learning about research Occupational practice Developing clinical practice Extending professional knowledge Working with a supervisor Research community of practice Learning about self
  39. 39. Summary <ul><li>The student learning experience in honours has many dimensions </li></ul><ul><li>Articulation of the facets of learning through honours can be used as a positive influence to encourage more students to consider honours </li></ul><ul><li>Transformative learning is intrinsic to the development of practitioner-researchers in allied health </li></ul>

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