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J Interprof Care. 2007 Dec;21(6):605-17.

Facilitating interprofessional learning about human rights in public health contexts: challenges and strategies.

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  • 1Centre for Educational and Professional Development, AUT University, New Zealand. neil.haigh@aut.ac.nz


Occasions when public health practitioners engage in professional learning increasingly involve them in encounters with (a) concepts that originate from unfamiliar disciplines and that may be multidisciplinary, complex and sometimes contested, (b) colleagues who have different discipline and profession backgrounds, and (c) modes of learning and teaching that are unfamiliar. While these factors can enhance both the processes and products of learning, they can also present significant challenges when those learning occasions are designed and facilitated. Drawing on our own reflected-on experience of working in such contexts and a body of related literature, we elaborate on these interrelated challenges and propose three strategies that can help address them. The strategies entail encouragement and support for establishing common commitments and values, perspective-taking and self-reflexivity, conversation and storytelling. Specific examples of challenges and strategies are derived, in particular, from a learning agenda associated with the mainstreaming of a human rights approach to public health. That agenda requires practitioners to understand the concept of human rights, appreciate its relevance for public health work and be capable of integrating a human right perspective into their day-to-day work.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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