In Brief  |   October 2015
Energizing Occupation as the Center of Teaching and Learning
Author Affiliations
  • Barbara Hooper, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Academic Program Director and Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, and Director, Center for Occupational Therapy Education, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins
  • Maralynne D. Mitcham, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, was Professor and Assistant Dean, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
  • Steven D. Taff, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Director of Professional Education and Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor, Program in Occupational Therapy and Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; taffs@wusm.wustl.edu
  • Pollie Price, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Sheama Krishnagiri, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Occupational Therapist, Private Practice, Los Angeles, CA
  • Andrea Bilics, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor of Occupational Therapy and Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Departments / The Issue Is …
In Brief   |   October 2015
Energizing Occupation as the Center of Teaching and Learning
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2015, Vol. 69, 6912360010p1-6912360010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.018242
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2015, Vol. 69, 6912360010p1-6912360010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.018242
Abstract

The concept of occupation has experienced a renewal in the past 3 decades and is widely accepted as the core subject in occupational therapy. Professional education has a critical stewardship role in continually enhancing how occupation is taught and understood to enrich new occupational therapy practitioners' ability to grasp the purpose of the profession and reason clinically in complex practice environments. The authors discuss three questions that frame approaches educators can use to effectively centralize occupation in teaching and learning environments: (1) To what degree is a curriculum and its courses and class sessions subject centered? (2) To what degree do instructional processes create links to occupation? and (3) To what degree do instructional processes expose and promote complex ways of knowing needed for learning occupation? Keeping occupation in the foreground is important to facilitate new research, teaching methods, and curricular relevance to practice.