My teaching philosophy evolved through personal and professional experience; feedback from students, colleagues and clinicians; reflecting on my clinical rehabilitation and teaching practices; research and scholarship; and the expectations and requirements of the Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand (OTBNZ). Teaching for me continues to be a research-led activity and like Boyer (1990), my intention is to “break away out of the tired old teaching versus research debate.”
Therefore, for me there is always a significant interface between working in rehabilitation and teaching and researching in the tertiary sector. I encourage clients and students to identify what they want to achieve, how they want to go about it and why they have chosen particular pathways. The act of voicing what it is that they both need and contributing ideas on how we might proceed fosters confidence and focus.
Mary teaches from the heart … genuine compassion and a strong desire to help others … I was inspired by her positive attitude (Meditation Course, Student Feedback 2012).
In February 2019, the Minister for Education announced that there was going to be a restructuring of the ITP sector (i.e. including Otago Polytechnic). The proposal led me to write this thought piece, as I wrestled to understand what it means to the profession and to my own teaching practice.
In the following pages I describe my approach to education: