Transformative learning opportunities for students and educators during interprofessional healthcare practice experiences in higher education: Viewed through the lens of Threshold Concepts Theory
Keywords:interprofessional, students, educators, transformative learning, threshold concepts, collaboration, health
Introduction: The transformative nature of collaborative interprofessional learning experiences, for both students and educators, signals the importance of learning opportunities that transcend professional or disciplinary boundaries. Specifically, real-time clinical practice experiences where students and educators from a number of health professions learn with, from and about eachother, while working with patients, enables authentic interprofessional learning opportunities.
Methods: This paper reports the qualitative interpretive findings from a mixed methods study on the learning experiences of students and educators from several undergraduate health and allied health programmes engaged in collaborative interprofessional practice in a university context. Interpretive thematic analysis of student and educator focus group transcripts revealed a number of transformational learning thresholds that students and educators transitioned through, over time.
Findings: Transformative learning occurred through cumulative collaborative learning experiences. Interprofessional thresholds were identified as: broadening perspectives on health practice; navigating collaborative roles through interprofessional practice (IPP); interprofessional team practice through active learning/learning by doing; integrative professional practice for actioning holistic, patient-centred healthcare.
Conclusion: Threshold Concepts Theory (TCT) provided both an interpretive lens for viewing the experiential learning processes that occurred during the student-led interprofessional programme and a theoretical perspective into the transformative nature of knowledge and skills acquisition and integration during interprofessional learning opportunities.
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