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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.39 n.1 Pretoria May. 2009




An innovative curriculum change to enhance occupational therapy student practice



Jo-Celene De Jongh

B.OT, M Phil; Departmental Chairperson / Senior Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of the Western Cape





Curriculum planning, revision and development are part of an ongoing process which all departments at tertiary institutions are confronted with on a daily basis. The Occupational Therapy Department at The University of the Western Cape undertook a revision of the undergraduate curriculum in response to political, socio-economic and educational changes in the environment, as well as developments in the Occupational Therapy profession. This article will reflect on the process of curriculum revision that staff has engaged in over the past few years. A model of the new curriculum is presented. A brief overview of the fourth year extended fieldwork practice, which was implemented for the first time in 2003 is discussed. This unique extended fieldwork practice differs from traditional fieldwork practice for final year students at other Occupational Therapy Training Schools in that, instead of three fieldwork placements of seven weeks each in their final year, students are now placed for a year in an area. It is expected that the outcomes of the new Occupational Therapy curriculum will enable graduates to more appropriately face the challenges of South Africa's developing health system.

Key words: Change, curriculum, fieldwork practice, training



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Jo-Celene De Jongh
Department of Occupational Therapy
University of the Western Cape
Private Bag XI7
Bellville 7535

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