Abstract

A clearly stated purpose of basic professional education in occupational therapy provides a base for educational programs to develop learning objectives and identify effective teaching models and behaviors. The primary purpose of professional education should be the development of problem-solving skills, self-awareness, and creative productive thinking, with “hands-on” skills relegated to a secondary purpose. Specific learning objectives and the teaching models that have been developed to meet these objectives are presented. The authors further suggest that there must be a relationship between what occurs in the classroom (implementation of teaching models) and the purpose of professional education. A survey of current occupational therapy faculty members was conducted to identify a) their preparedness in the use of teaching models and b) other factors affecting their classroom behavior (years of experience, educational level, area of concentration). Survey results portray a relatively young faculty in both rank and experience. Other data indicate that although 85% of the respondents had taken at least one education course, only slightly more than half were familiar with teaching models. Most respondents felt that course work in educational methods and models aids in the development of more effective teaching strategies.

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