Occupational therapy student conceptions of self-reflection in Level II Fieldwork
Self-reflection is paramount to the development of professionalism and serves as the foundation of adult education and lifelong learning. Pedagogical approaches in health sciences programs that promote self-reflection are growing in popularity. Current literature identifies a gap in what and how students conceive self-reflection and whether self-reflection is creating professionals that meet the challenges of today’s healthcare climate. This qualitative study explores the conceptions of self-reflection for occupational therapy students in Level II Fieldwork. The use of phenomenographic methodology guided the collection of information-rich data through semi-structured interviews. Twenty-one occupational therapy graduates volunteered to participate in the interviews. Verbatim transcripts were coded to identify categories and patterns in the data. A focused discussion was employed as a member-checking method to ensure accuracy of study outcomes. Participants identified that self-reflection may serve to inform personal and professional practices during occupational therapy student clinical rotations. Although universally defined, student self-reflection occurred in countless ways and took many forms. Participants valued its function in expanded decision making, self-awareness, and competence in fieldwork and everyday occupations. These findings facilitate further research and the creation of new self-reflection educational methods or interventions designed to build or remediate self-reflective capacity of health sciences students during academic and clinical programming.