I’ve been sidetracked recently with all sorts of things like some private work I do for a company here in Dunedin (working with children with head injuries mainly), as well as marking, umm… writing our revised postgraduate document and ????? Anyway, my evenings have been taken up with being on the computer, but producing information for others. Has it provided any learning for me?

The postgraduate document – no… I don’t think so – that was all about making sure I provided the right information under the right headings, or finding the right people to put the right information under the right headings – all to ensure that I met the expectations of Academic Quality Unit who provide the template that requires filling in. Then the document goes through various internal committees (well only 2 really)… who check that what they expect to see under the various headings is in fact there. So its like a clinical governance type activity (if I’ve got clinical governance right)… its making sure the tick boxes can be ticked off in order to gain the approval we need to run the programme. So new new learning or challenges in there for me… although I tell a slight white lie…. There is a section on how our programmes are structured to ensure committment to the Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi). I had written the usual statements, but then needed to meet with the Kaitohutohu to discuss what I had put. Quite rightly I was challenged to consider to move past what we had done so far. So it was back to the writing – what was our school doing to honour our commitment to the Treaty – what were we doing differently to what we were doing in 2003 (the last time the document was written)… and what should we continue to do or do more of. Of course I got totally tangled up in the fact that most people doing our programme are registered and therefore already having to demonstrate how they meet this commitment through the OT Board of New Zealand competencies. So it wasn’t my responsibility to teach them more – or was it??? Anyway…. after much thought, we came back to the point that postgraduate study is about challenging and extending – so with this in mind, I could identify what it is we do as a school, and as lecturers in the postgraduate programme. I did find out the proportion of occupational therapists identifying as Maori and how many of those are in our programme. It was something like 1.8% of therapists have annual practicing therapists and we have enrolled a 1/3 of these in at least one course here this year alone! So we’re doing something right!

Working with the young children – I enjoy having the experience of working with these children, and the families and it certainly is challenging as I have to really think about what is happening, what I can offer, what will be funded etc. So while I’m not learning anything new…I’m ‘flexing’ my brain muscles – really having to draw on my knowledge of neuro, learning, etc etc to understand what could be happening, what is influencing this child’s ability to do what they need to do…

What I have been doing though is collecting up resources that head my way through the various mailing lists I’m on… this includes one that is the basis of tonight’s posting called PhDweblogs. It does have a search engine but it seems to be pretty basic.. however its a good place to start I guess if you were a PhD student looking for people researching in a similar area to yourself.

Well it’s good to be out there posting again…. next one is about the upcoming Clinical Workshops being held in Cromwell.. oh and the other good news.. I’ve had my abstract accepted for the European Congress happening in May 2008 in Hamburg, Germany next year. I’m hoping to catch up with Sarah Bodell and her colleagues from University of Salford who has a OT school blog underway and implementing plans to have students learn how to use Web 2.0! Hi Sarah!