Research Article  |   May 2017
A Way of Seeing: How Occupation Is Portrayed to Students When Taught as a Concept Beyond Its Use in Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Pollie Price, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Barb Hooper, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor and Academic Program Director, Occupational Therapy Department, and Director, Center for Occupational Therapy Education, Colorado State University, Fort Collins; barb.hooper@colostate.edu
  • Sheama Krishnagiri, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Occupational Therapist, Private Practice, Los Angeles, CA
  • Stephen D. Taff, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Professional Education and Academic Affairs, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Andrea Bilics, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Emeritus Professor, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Education
Research Article   |   May 2017
A Way of Seeing: How Occupation Is Portrayed to Students When Taught as a Concept Beyond Its Use in Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2017, Vol. 71, 7104230010p1-7104230010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024182
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2017, Vol. 71, 7104230010p1-7104230010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024182
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The concept of occupation is core to learning occupational therapy, yet how occupation is taught has not been widely studied. We explored how occupation is addressed in 25 U.S. occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant programs.

METHOD. We used a basic qualitative research design, collecting data through interviews, artifacts, and video recordings of teaching. We secondarily analyzed 8 programs in which occupation was taught beyond its application in practice.

RESULTS. Educators portrayed occupation as (1) a way of seeing self (students learn about themselves as occupational beings), (2) a way of seeing others (students learn about others as occupational beings), and (3) a way of seeing the profession (students learn occupation as the central focus of occupational therapy). Varied learning experiences promoted these perspectives.

CONCLUSION. Three concepts—subject-centered learning, threshold concepts, and transformative learning—formed the theoretical foundation for teaching occupation as a way of seeing.