Foundation studies in education for therapy practice: Curriculum updating

Leahy, M.M., McTiernan, K, Smith, M.M., Sloane, P., Walsh, I. P., Walshe, M. and Ni Cholmain, C. (2010) Foundation studies in education for therapy practice: Curriculum updating. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 62 (5). pp. 255-259. ISSN 10217762 (ISSN)


Objective: To describe the foundation studies element of the education for practice as a speech and language therapist in one Irish University, and how this element features in curriculum development and updating. Background: This paper addresses the question of how best to introduce students to the ever-increasing depth and range of knowledge regarding communication disorders. This foundation is the basis upon which to build the knowledge, skills and attitudes that lead ultimately to generating prerequisites for clinician scientists to provide services for people with communication and swallowing disabilities. Methods/Results: Since its institution as a university course, the course curriculum in our department at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, has been subjected to regular revision and updating to be in line with educational, professional and service requirements. In this paper, we select elements of our most recent revision of the curriculum, incorporating the redefinition of the desirable characteristics of our graduates. This paper presents an overview of curriculum development, and focuses on the initial part of the education that sets the foundation for acquiring the knowledge that we consider to be a relevant, solid basis for entering clinical work. Conclusions: The current foundation stage of the curriculum encompasses elements that reflect increasing knowledge, trends in education practices, and the seeds of life-long learning. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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