Epistemological transformation in occupational therapy: Educational implications and challenges
An epistemological analysis of occupational therapy's history opens a novel perspective on the field's evolution and on important changes facing education and practice. Kegan's theory of epistemological transformation (e.g., how ways of knowing evolve) was used as an analytic tool to reexamine mostly secondary and some primary historical sources. Although the profession's history is often portrayed in terms of large and sweeping changes, this analysis suggests that little change occurred in occupational therapy's epistemology, making it difficult for the profession to become self-defined or easily adopt occupation, participation, and health as a focus for practice, education, and research. It is also suggested that recent developments in the field are at their core epistemological developments and serve as indicators that a new way of knowing has emerged in occupational therapy that is making new demands of practitioners and educators. Further, epistemological developments can help evaluate common educational assumptions and frame new educational approaches.
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