ABSTRACT: As physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) educational programs endeavor to foster core values of social responsibility, justice, and altruism in an increasingly global community, the incorporation of local and international service-learning (ISL) into the curriculum is growing. Much of the research has focused on the measurement of student learning, with little written about the impact on the host community. Proponents of global health initiatives are calling for consideration of all stakeholders to ensure ethical practice. This paper explores the current literature related to PT and OT ISL and builds a conceptual framework for ISL course planning. The essential phases in the framework include: 1) pre-experience planning/preparation stage, 2) field immersion experience stage, and 3) postexperience stage. The essential elements are: 1) cultural competency training, 2) communication and coordination with community, 3) comprehensive assessment, and 4) strategic planning. The authors suggest this framework as a practical tool to structure ISL courses with an explicit emphasis on ethical concerns. Additionally, they seek to foster more dialogue and action related to the promotion of ethical practices in ISL in PT and OT education programs.
Journal of allied health 01/2011; 40(2):103-9.
ABSTRACT: Internationalization is expanding its presence in higher education in the United States. Reflecting this trend that includes incorporating global perspectives in the curricula, physical therapist education programmes increasingly offer international opportunities such as International Service-Learning (ISL) to their students. Service-learning, a teaching strategy that integrates community service with structured learning activities, has gained broad acceptance in health professions education including physical therapy, and is therefore the focus of this paper. The specific purposes of this paper were to identify and analyse the commonalities that existed among established ISL programmes within physical therapist education programmes in terms of structures and processes, and to consider its broader implications for physical therapist education.
A descriptive, exploratory study was performed using grounded theory. Snowball and purposive, theoretical sampling yielded 14 faculty members with experience in international service, international learning or ISL in physical therapist education programmes. Faculty were interviewed by phone. Interview transcriptions and course documents were analysed applying grounded theory methodology. Data from eight programmes which met the operational definition of established ISL were used to address the purposes of this paper.
Five phases of establishing an ISL programme were identified: development, design, implementation, evaluation, and enhancement. Although no single model exists for ISL in physical therapist education; commonalities in structures and processes were identified in each phase. However, attention to service objectives and outcomes is lacking.
While analysis revealed that each programme shared commonalities and demonstrated differences in structures and processes compared with the other programmes, the study demonstrated a general lack of focus on formal community outcomes which raises ethical concerns. Future research and dialogue is warranted to explore ethics and good practice in ISL and other global health initiatives in physical therapy. This study may facilitate reflections and creative solutions by individual faculty and the profession.
Physiotherapy Research International 12/2010; 16(4):225-36.
Physiotherapy Canada 01/2010; 62(3):274-5. · 0.54 Impact Factor