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Research Article  |   February 1995
Preliminary Assessment of a Fieldwork Education Alternative: The Fieldwork Centers Approach
Author Affiliations
  • Tamara E. Avi-Itzhak, DSc, is Assistant Professor, Montclair State University, Department of Educational Foundations, School of Professional Studies, Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043
  • Hanna Kellner, OTR, MA, is Faculty and Fieldwork Coordinator, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Special Issue on Fieldwork
Research Article   |   February 1995
Preliminary Assessment of a Fieldwork Education Alternative: The Fieldwork Centers Approach
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1995, Vol. 49, 133-138. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.2.133
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1995, Vol. 49, 133-138. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.2.133
Abstract

Objective. In response to an acute shortage of clinical fieldwork placement opportunities, faculty members of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Tel Aviv University in Israel formulated the Fieldwork Centers Approach (FCA) as an alternative approach to fieldwork education. Under the FCA, groups of two to eight students were assigned to one facility. The number of participating supervisors, who shared all supervision activities, ranged from two to six. Supervision approaches included both one-to-one and group supervision. This article presents the results of an evaluation of the FCA by the first group of students who participated in it.

Method. Twenty-five students were surveyed twice, once after they completed their Level I fieldwork and again after they completed their Level II fieldwork.

Results. Upon completion of Level I fieldwork, 26% of the students indicated that they perceived advantages in the FCA: this percentage rose to 74% upon their completion of Level II fieldwork. No significant differences were found between the students’ fieldwork level and their preference for the FCA vs. a strictly one-to-one, supervisor–student approach. Of the five learning experiences unique to the FCA, four, which received high ratings, represented specific learning experiences and one, which received low ratings, represented a psychological learning experience.

Conclusion. Results indicate that the FCA is a promising approach to fieldwork education. Overall, student evaluations made upon completion of Level II fieldwork were more positive than those made upon completion of Level I fieldwork. Additional research is needed to determine the reasons for this shift in students’ evaluations.