Contemporary factors shaping the professional identity of occupational therapy lecturers

O’Shea, J. and McGrath, S. (2019) Contemporary factors shaping the professional identity of occupational therapy lecturers. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82(3), pp. 186-194. (doi: 10.1177/0308022618796777)

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Introduction: The contemporary factors of neoliberalism and evidence-based practice have implications for professional autonomy and values, education and training, ways of working and construction of knowledge. Occupational therapy lecturers are at the interface between student education and professional practice and therefore have unique insights into the way in which these factors are shaping their professional identity and that of the profession. Method: Nine narrative inquiry focused interviews of occupational therapy lecturers from two universities were carried out. Data was interpreted through a Bourdieusian lens of professional habitus, and analysed thematically. Findings: The main factors influencing occupational therapy lecturer identity were noted to be relationships between professional identity and artistry; the professional body of knowledge and language; evidencing practice, neoliberalism and changes to teaching and learning. Conclusion: The structural factors of neoliberalism, evidence-based practice and associated policies are influencing the occupational therapy professional habitus and, in turn, occupational therapy lecturers’ professional identity. An effective critique of these structural factors is required to maintain the profession’s values and artistry and the knowledge upon which occupational therapy lecturers’ identity is formed and their approaches to teaching and learning are based.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGrath, Professor Simon
Authors: O’Shea, J., and McGrath, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1477-6006
Published Online:18 September 2018

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