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Physiother Theory Pract. 2017 Jun;33(6):439-447. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2017.1323361. Epub 2017 May 16.

Moving forth: Imagining physiotherapy education differently.

Author information

1
a College of Science, Health and Engineering , La Trobe University , Bundoora , Victoria , Australia.
2
b School of Education and Social Work , The University of Sydney , Sydney , New South Wales , Australia.

Abstract

Contemporary and future physiotherapists are, and will be, presented with challenges different to their forebears. Yet, physiotherapy tends to remain tied to historical ways of seeing the world: these are passed down to generations of physiotherapy graduates. These historical perspectives privilege particular knowledge and skills so that students gain competency for graduation. However, contemporary practice is inherently more complex than the focus on knowledge and skills would have us believe. Professional life requires students to develop the capability to deal with uncertain and diverse futures. This paper argues that physiotherapy needs to think differently about entry-level education; the focus on knowledge and competencies that has been the mainstay in physiotherapy education must now be understood in the context of an education that embraces knowing, doing, being. Two educational frameworks are offered in support of this argument - threshold concepts and ways of thinking and practicing (WTP). Taken together, these ideas can assist physiotherapy to think in fresh ways about disciplinary learning. Threshold concepts and WTP help to understand the nature of a discipline: its behaviors, culture, discourses, and methods. By interrogating the discursive aspects of the discipline, physiotherapy educators will be better placed to provide more relevant preparation for practice.

KEYWORDS:

Curriculum; physiotherapy; practice-based education; threshold concepts; ways of thinking and practicing

PMID:
28509604
DOI:
10.1080/09593985.2017.1323361
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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