A Framework of Personal and Environmental Learning-based Strategies to Foster Therapist Expertise

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This presentation introduces a comprehensive, theory-based framework of learning-based strategies by which to promote the expertise of the various groups of professionals who provide services to children with physical and mental health difficulties, and their families. This framework is based on a review of strategies discussed in the expertise literature in physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, nursing, education, and counseling and psychotherapy. Three strategies to facilitate learning and competence development (based on theories of ecological systems, competence development, and learning) are discussed: (a) personal experience to develop skills and knowledge (personal level strategies), (b) the provision of supports and resources (person-environment “fit” strategies), and (c) workplace opportunities (environmental strategies). Together, these strategy groups provide a comprehensive understanding of the ways to facilitate experiential, instructional, and observational learning for practicing therapists. Implications for managers and therapists are discussed, including the importance of providing supportive, learning-oriented work environments; the need to tailor resources, supports, and opportunities to meet the different needs of novices and experts; the importance of ensuring various forms of feedback; and the importance of developing practice-relevant tools. The review indicates the need for research studies to evaluate the relative effectiveness of the strategy groups.


Keywords: Therapist Expertise, Learning Strategies, Framework
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Gillian King

Research Scientist, Applied Research and Evaluation, Child and Parent Resource Institute
London, Ontario, Canada

Gillian King has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. She is currently a Research Scientist at the Child and Parent Resource Institute in London, Ontario, and a Senior Scientist with Bloorview Research Institute in Toronto, Ontario. Gillian is an Associate Clinical Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University, and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. She holds a Senior Research Fellowship awarded by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation. Her areas of research include the psychosocial aspects of disability and the development of models of service delivery. She has authored or co-authored over 85 articles in professional journals, has been an investigator on more than 30 grants, and has been an author on over 170 peer-reviewed presentations. Gillian has 20 years of management experience in research and clinical positions, along with experience in teaching and consulting, and extensive experience in working in collaborative partnerships.

Ref: L08P0265