Posts

A critique of the concept of 'occupational rights' on Constitution Day 2020

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Today is Constitution Day - a good time to reflect on the nature of rights, particularly as this is an apparent topic of interest among some occupational scientists.

Many people improperly believe that in an American context rights spring out of the Constitution.  Actually, the so-called Bill of Rights is a list of governmental limitations - or actions that the government can not take against individuals related to their rights.  One of my favorites is the ninth amendment - so limiting in its scope - it states that enumerating any rights in the Constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.

So what is the actual source of these rights?  The American Declaration of Independence states that they are endowed by a Creator - often interpreted as natural rights that are inalienable.  

Natural rights were previously identified by John Locke in context of England's Glorious Revolution - identified at the time as the rights to "life, liberty…

Perspectives on motive

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Because we are inherently social, we spend a lot of time trying to understand motive in the actions of others.  Motive provides a context from which we can apply a category or frame - and as we are also inherently driven toward sense-making and meaning-making this idea of motive is a pragmatic tool that actually serves our own purpose.

In occupational therapy, a practitioner will take motive out of this standard context and attempt to manipulate it as a tool for promoting a certain outcome.  It is a presumptuous methodology, and probably something that we need to spend time discussing.  Used incorrectly, the manipulation of motive can at best simply backfire, and at worst can actually be an assault on another person's autonomy and freedom.  In either case, if you get it wrong, it ends up being rather unhelpful.

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We have many squirrels in the neighborhood of our home in the Finger Lakes.  The grandchildren derive endless amusement at watching them - the front yard animals all have …

Immediate action is required to address the crisis in occupational therapy fieldwork education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Accreditation is a function that ensures quality in higher education.  Many accreditation functions in higher education are regional, and schools must engage those accreditation processes in order for students attending to be eligible for many forms of financial aid.

Many professional educational programs are also accredited by discipline specific organizations, which are in turn themselves monitored by national accreditors.  In sum, there are multiple layers to the educational accreditation process that all serve as a quasi-public protection to ensure quality.

 The occupational therapy profession has a discipline specific accreditor, named the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).  This group has a statement on educational quality that can be found here.  This policy states that

a profession is distinguished by a variety of factors.  Among these are a set of recognized educational standards for professional preparation; a credentialing mechanism for certif…

Synchronous vs. asynchronous content delivery in context of COVID-19

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Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. (Thoreau).
Many educators are considering ways to deliver their courses in this unprecedented context of students being in their homes, away from the normal routines and location of the Academy.  We no longer have control of the schedule - the students are not a captive audience in front of us at the times that we normally expect.

What does this mean for our new context of online delivery?

I have heard many educators talk about synchronous delivery - 'it will offer some structure to the student learning experience,' some say.  'By delivering our content synchronously we will provide a valuable service to students who suddenly have lost their anchor points.'

I would like to encourage my educator colleagues to re-think …

On so-called 'Civility Pledges' and the abolition of free thought and free speech

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I have blogged previously about the glaring problem of lack of tolerance for viewpoint diversity in occupational therapy, and unsuccessful attempts to address the concern.  See here for more details. It is not a new problem in occupational therapy, and now the problem is being demonstrated again.


An important agenda item has been added to the Spring Representative Assembly meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association - to explore the creation of a 'Civility Pledge' as follows:



On its surface, most people will agree that it is important to be kind and respectful when interacting with others.  However, 'Civility Pledges' have been introduced before in our national government, on many college campuses - and they rarely succeed in gathering much interest or respect.

Why is that?

Most 'Civility Pledges' end up listing speech and behavior that goes far beyond apirational kindness - and wades into the murky territory of mandated 'guiding principles'…

The 2020 motion to Update Policy E.6 Entry-Level Education of Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants

Please see the following for background information:

AOTA's claim to authority over entry level degree requirements
A Motion to Update Policy E.6 Entry-Level Education of Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants
An analysis of how small changes can potentially lead to unintended consequences in a motion
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A new motion has been submitted to AOTA to update Policy E.6 regarding entry level education of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.  The originator of this motion believes that this update is necessary because in fact the intent of the first motion was changed through wording and that these changes introduced uncertainty in how the AOTA policy can be interpreted.  Details are outlined in the motion below.

Additionally, since the RA voted on and decided the entry level education issue, supporters of the mandatory doctoral entry level have attempted to up-end that decision just six months after the decision was made.  In fact, comments have …

Online data sources for narrative analysis: An innovative use of technology in a graduate project

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Presented at The Quality Report Annual Conference, Ft. Lauderdale,  FL, 1/15/20

Thanks for stopping by to look at our slides!















Conference slides!