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Human Occupation Course Introduction 2012

Introduction and philosophy

May 06, 2015


Health & Medicine


Course Introduction lecture for year one paper Human Occupation.
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Page 1: Introduction and philosophy

Human Occupation

Course Introduction 2012

Page 2: Introduction and philosophy

Session plan

To provide an introduction to the course outline 

To present the course assessments and expectations 

To introduce the course schedule 

To introduce an occupational perspective, considering course content and it’s relevance to Occupational Therapy

To provide students with opportunities to ask questions related to course content and structure

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Given the course title, Human Occupation, what do you think this course might be about?

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Your occupations

Take 2 minutes and list:

Four activities/occupations you have personally enjoyed doing so far throughout your life.

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• What humans do • Where they do (did) it • When they do (did) it • How it is done, what is required• Why they do (did) it • Who does (did) it

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Develop an occupational


• Why might this be important for an occupational therapy student?

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• History (yours and others)

• Philosophy• Record Keeping and Research• Geography (humans and the creation of place)

• Film, literature and multi media • Documentary and film fiction• Imaginative literature• Academic articles and text• Blogs and websites

• Performance and Play• Craft, Design and Engineering• Food production and consumption

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Learning philosophy

• Experiential– Knowledge not

passively received– Make sense of things

in our own way in relation to what we already know

– Arrive at our own sense of the truth

– Communities help

• Constructionist • We learn by making

things • Especially a public entity • Ideas form by working

things out for a specific context

• Expressing ideas makes them tangible and shareable

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You are expected to...

• Be an active participant in the range of tasks and activities presented in class and set outside of contact hours

• Complete assessments in relation to set guidelines• Be prepared to share, and argue, your points of

view and knowledge while also listening to others• Support your fellow students• Question lecturers• Understanding and articulate your own view of

humans as occupational beings

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Handout: course schedule

• Lecture slots

• Tutorial sessions

• Workshops

• Associated worksheets

• Presentation Sessions

• Essay preparation

• Fieldwork two component

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Assessment Handouts: Workshop Record, Essay (including worksheets), Fieldwork evaluation.

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What Occupational Therapy has to Offer

Examining the founding philosophies of the


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Occupation and healthOccupational Therapy defined and

describedThe professions values and beliefs Challenges and arguments facing the


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Addressing the broadness of occupation

Occupational therapy is the art and science of helping people do the day-to-day activities that are important to them despite impairment, disability or handicap. “Occupation” in occupational therapy does not simply refer to jobs or job training; occupation in occupational therapy refers to all the activities that occupy peoples time and give meaning to our lives (Willard and

Spackman, p. 5)

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Occupation and the human condition

• Historical Perspective: Occupation and health

• The foundations and developments of occupational therapy

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Image taken from Wilcock, 1998, p.540

Occupational therapy and associated ideologies from the 19th century

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Occupational Therapies Professional Beliefs

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About Occupation

We believe that occupation

 • gives meaning to life• is an important determinant of health and well being• organizes behaviour• develops and changes over a lifetime• shapes and is shaped by environments• has therapeutic effectiveness

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About the Person

We believe that humans • are occupational beings• are unique• have intrinsic dignity and worth• can make choices about life• have some capacity towards self determination • have some ability to participate in occupations• have some potential to change• are social and spiritual beings • have diverse abilities for participating in occupations• shape and are shaped by their environment 

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About the Environment

We believe that 


• Environment includes cultural, institutional, physical and social components

• Performance, organization, choice and satisfaction in occupations are determined by the relationship between persons and their environment

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About Health

We believe that

• Health is more than the absence of disease• Health is strongly influenced by having choice and

control in everyday occupations• Health has dimensions associated with spiritual meaning

and life satisfaction in occupations and social dimensions associated with fairness and equal opportunity in occupations

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About Client Centered Practice

We believe that

 • Clients have experience and knowledge about their

occupations• Clients are active partners in the occupational therapy

process• Risk taking is necessary for positive change• Client centred practice in occupational therapy focuses

on enabling occupation

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Challenges and arguments facing the profession

• Being part of community. Recruitment and retention practitioners who reflect community needs

• Profession as a minority in a medical based model of health delivery

• Advocacy • OT Practice should be bent to the context and

not the other way around this is often difficult given the systems worked with in and the points of power and control 

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It is acknowledged that individuals, communities and environments are

dynamic and multi facetted and herein lays the ‘Art of Practice’.

Doing, being, becoming, belonging

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References Gray, J.M. (1998). Putting occupation into practice: Occupation as an ends occupation as a means. American journal of occupational therapy, 52, 354-364.


Rebeiro, K. (1998). 0ccupation-as-means to mental health: A review of literature and a call for research. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 12-19.



Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (1994). Position statement on everyday occupation and health. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 294-297.



Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (1996). Profile of occupational therapy practice in Canada. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 79-113.



Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (1997). Enabling occupation: an occupational therapy perspective. Ottawa, ON: Townsend.



Blair, S. E .E. (2000). The centrality of occupation during transition. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(5), 231-237.



Molineux, M., & Whiteford, G. (1999). Prisons: From occupational deprivation to occupational enrichment. Journal of Occupational Science, 6(3), 124-130.


Townsend, E. & Wilcock, A. (2004). Occupational justice and client-centred practice: A dialogue in progress. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(2), 75-87.



Barnes, C. (2000). A working social model? Disability, work and disability politics in the 21 st century. Critical Social Policy, 20, 441-457.



Christiansen, C. (1999). Defining lives: Occupation as identity: An essay on competence, coherence and the creation of meaning. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 53, 547-558.

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References continuedNygard, L., & Borell, L. (1998). A life-world of alternating meaning: Expressions of the illness experience of dementia in everyday life over three years. Occupational Therapy

Journal of Research, 18, 109-136.



Primeau, L.A. (1996). Running as an occupation, multiple meanings and purpose. In R.Z.F. Clark (Ed.). Occupational Science: the evolving discipline (p. 275-286). Philadelphia: FA. Davis.



Vrkljan, B. H., & Miller-Polgar, J. (2001). Meaning of occupational engagement in life threatening illness. A qualitative pilot project. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 237-246.



Townsend, E. (1997). Inclusiveness: a community dimension of spirituality. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(3), 146-155.



Townsend, E. (2003). Occupational justice: Ethical, moral and civic principles for an inclusive world. Keynote presentation at the Annual Conference of the European Network of Occupational Therapy Educators, Czech Republic, Prague, October.



Mace, J. (2008). Developing opportunities for occupational therapists in primary health organisations in New Zealand. OT Insight, 29(6), 3-5.



Wilcock, A.A. (1993). A theory of human need for occupation. Journal of Occupational Science: Australia,1, 17-24.



Wilcock, A.A. (1998). An occupational perspective on health. Thorofare, NJ: Slack


Iwama, M. (2006). The Kawa Model. China: Elsevier.


Iwama, M. (2006a). Culturally Relevant Occupational Therapy. Implications for the effective use of our therapeutic selves. Occupational Therapy Insight, 27 (2), 16-23.

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References continuedDurie, M.H. (2004). Understanding health and illness: research at the interface between science and indigenous knowledge. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33 (5), 1138-



Jungersen, K. (2002). Cultural safety: Kawa Whakaruruhau- An occupational therapy perspective. New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy, 49(1), 4-9.


Dunn, W., Brown, C., & McGuigan, A. (1994). The ecology of human performance: A framework for considering the effect of context. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 48, 595-607


Law, M. (1991). The environment: A focus for occupational therapy. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58, 171-179.


Rowles, G. (1991). Beyond performance: Being in place as a component of occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45, 265-271.