Signature Pedagogies

1. Experiential Learning

The strategic, active engagement of students in opportunities to learn through doing, and empowering them to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical endeavors.

Why does this pedagogy provide value to the Occupational Therapy program?

  • Involves “doing” – physical, embodied action in context
  • Engaged active learning
  • Build confidence in applying theory into practice
  • Acting through doing and connecting self to content

2. Reflective Learning

Reflective learning involves a dialogue of thinking and doing through which students develop knowledge and capabilities relevant for practice. It involves the active engagement of students in reflection - retrospectively on experience, in the midst of experience, and prior to experience - as a means of optimizing learning. Reflective learning occurs along a continuum that encompasses intentional practical reflection, embodied forms of reflection, critical reflection on systemic and structural conditions, and critical reflexivity on assumptions, discourses and systems of knowledge. Reflective learning occurs at individual and collective levels.

Why does this pedagogy provide value to the Occupational Therapy program?

  • Involves intentional application of reflective processes to enhance learning through activities such as writing, journaling, guided reflective exercises, guided questions, fieldwork reflection, portfolios, expressive arts, audio or video self-assessment, technology mediated reflective forums, oral presentation
  • Engages collective modes of reflection through dialogue, group work, and collaborative reflective activities with classmates, preceptors, mentors, professors, fieldwork colleagues and clients, technology mediated reflective forums, communities of practice, and community engaged learning
  • Involves analysis, reasoning, and synthesis to inform practical action in context (praxis)

3. Occupation Based Inquiry

An array of classroom practices that promote student learning through guided and increasing independent investigation of complex questions and problems that centre on occupations, often for which there is no single answer. Students are central in actively raising questions, reflecting on various possibilities for action, seeking out necessary information, weighing different perspectives against one another, and making real choices about what to believe and what to do in understanding and enabling occupations.

Why does this pedagogy provide value to the Occupational Therapy program?

  • Core to understanding concepts
  • Places student reflect on occupation at the centre of the inquiry
  • Aligns with transformation within students
  • Meaningful in students’ “becoming” process toward practicing OT
  • Students are the agents of their learning
  • Overarches case-based, problem-based learning and reflective inquiry, three examples of enacting inquiry-based learning

4. Relational Learning

Learning that occurs though human connection. It privileges the teacher-student relationship through mentorship, apprenticeship, modeling and dialogue. Educators guide students by modeling relationships guided by empathy, mindfulness, compassion and care. Educators also model the relational embodiment that occurs through nonverbal interaction, the effective use of our body in practice, and through the touch and handling that accompanies work in occupation.

Why does this pedagogy provide value to the Occupational Therapy program?

  • Develops an ongoing awareness of ways of “being” “doing” “belonging” and “becoming” in the world
  • Develops the capacity for character development and the cultivation of practical wisdom
  • Develops an openness to personal transformation over time

5. Transformative Learning

Learning that occurs through opportunities for students to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions about the world and to integrate a diversity of perspectives into their understandings and worldviews. Transformative learning often involves a change in perspective by challenging assumptions that underlie intentions, values, beliefs and taken-for-granted perspectives. Transformative learning can result in new ways of understanding the world, and the implementation of actions oriented toward positive social change.

Why does this pedagogy provide value to the Occupational Therapy program?

  • Open to transformation of ones’ worldview through opportunities to critically examine assumptions and taken for granted understandings
  • Attend to a diversity of perspectives through various approaches such as role play, case study, simulation
  • Explore the implication of overlapping intersections of axes of difference or diversity (e.g. disability, race, class, gender identity, etc.)
  • Engage in active open dialogue, to critically consider alternate points of view
  • Recognize structural, systemic and discursive conditions that shape various forms of oppression, inequity, discrimination, disadvantage or injustice
  • Explore approaches for working toward positive social change