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A commentary on the social responsibility of occupational therapy education

Sakellariou, Dikaios and Pollard, Nick 2013. A commentary on the social responsibility of occupational therapy education. Journal of Further and Higher Education 37 (3) , pp. 416-430. 10.1080/0309877X.2011.645459

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As one of the allied health professions, occupational therapy has adopted a primarily clinical focus on human occupation (or the process of daily life) and this is reflected in education, which has until recently tended to overlook contextual social factors such as poverty, marginalisation, exclusion, unemployment, incarceration and immigration. However, daily life is enabled, and potentially dis-abled, along the axes of several cultural and political constructs, such as gender, employment status and ethnicity. This article presents a critical commentary of the social responsibility of occupational therapy education. Furthermore, it discusses the need for educational practices that can enact an integration of personal and professional perspectives so as to lead to a more holistic understanding of occupation, incorporating not only clinical but also social and political factors. This article argues for the development of a political approach to occupational therapy education that can lead to an awareness of the cultural influences that they bring to their workplace, and a critical consideration of concepts such as ‘justice’ and ‘occupation’. The development of a political practice of occupational therapy calls for an appreciation of the diversity of human occupation and the circumstances that enable it and can be realised through the establishment of innovative educational partnerships, such as community–university collaborations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: healthcare education, occupational therapy, social responsibility
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0309-877X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:53

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