Occupational therapy students’ experiences of professional reasoning during practice-based learning: A dialogical analysis

PhD Thesis


Beanlands, C. (2023). Occupational therapy students’ experiences of professional reasoning during practice-based learning: A dialogical analysis. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Allied and Community Health https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.936ww
AuthorsBeanlands, C.
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

Background
Practice-based learning equates to a third of occupational therapy students’ education and provides an opportunity for development of professional reasoning. Although professional
reasoning is a key competency underpinning entry to the occupational therapy profession, little is known about students’ reasoning during their practice-based learning.
Methodology
A dialogical approach, based on the philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin, has been used to explore occupational therapy students’ experiences of reasoning during their practice-based learning. A dialogical approach recognises living as both an individual and a social phenomenon. Bakhtin suggests speech is composed of different genres which have distinctive temporal and spatial features, these can indicate how we position ourselves in relation to others. Twelve occupational therapy students were interviewed after they had completed their final practice placement.
Findings
Fifty-seven key moments were analysed, and two major genres (Bildungsroman and romance) and three minor genres (travel, adventure, and carnival) were identified. The Bildungsroman
illustrated experiences of professional socialisation into reasoning. The other genres related to expression of professional identity. The romantic genre was used to convey the person-centred and occupation-centred values that informed the students’ reasoning. The travel genre indicated an inability to reason, for example in a fast-paced setting. The adventure genre was used when the practice educator was experienced as testing reasoning, and the carnival genre
when reasoning in an unpredictable situation.
Discussion
This study demonstrates the value of a dialogical methodology in exploring a complex, individual, and social phenomenon. Reasoning was experienced both as a means of enacting, affirming, and negotiating a professional identity, and of being socialised into the reasoning of an occupational therapist. Some students resisted socialisation into reasoning that was incongruent with their values and developing professional identity. The findings also illustrated the emotionality of learning to reason, and the need for emotional intelligence.
Recommendations
It is recommended that students and educators are prepared for the emotionality of learning to reason. Preceptorship programmes need to support newly qualified occupational therapists in the development of their professional identity

Year2023
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.936ww
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Publication dates
Print09 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Mar 2023
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