Value and challenges of research on health professions' core subjects in education.
Professions are organized around central concerns, or core subjects. Knowledge of a field's core subject is indispensable to effective practice, reasoning, and professional identity. In health professions education, however, core subjects are often obscured by the plethora of topics and skills that must be taught, rendering them largely implicit in the learning process. Core subjects and how they are addressed in curricula thus remain under-researched in health professions education. The scarcity of research can be attributed to the need for (1) explicating core subjects as the basis for learning, (2) language that describes professional education as connecting all learning to a field's core, and (3) research methods that go beyond early phases of research development, including a conceptual framework for understanding and studying core subjects. This paper presents strategies addressing each of these challenges that were developed through a pilot and a subsequent large national study of occupational therapy education. These strategies provide a foundation for dialogue and future research on the nature and function of core subjects in health professions education.
Hooper, B; Krishnagiri, S; Pollie Price, M; Bilics, AR; Taff, SD; Mitcham, MD
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