Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Teaching & Learning
Myrna R. Olson
The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental research study was to explore the difference that life experiences, educational experiences, and clinical experiences made on physical therapy students’ considerations to practice pediatrics. There has been a lack of research regarding how different experiences with children integrated into the curriculum in pediatric physical therapy education positively influences students’ interests and considerations to practice pediatrics. This research study investigated the problem using the framework of adult learning theory and experiential learning. Physical therapy students from three Upper Midwestern physical therapy programs (Years 1 through 3) voluntarily participated in this survey research. A survey was developed to assess which experiences positively influenced students’ considerations to practice pediatrics after graduation from college. Results from respondents who were considering pediatrics indicated they had completed an observation with children with functional, activity, and participation limitations. Most respondents indicated they had an interest in pediatrics in Year 1. There was a significant difference found between life experiences, educational experiences, and clinical experiences of students who considered practicing pediatrics and those who were not considering practicing pediatrics. Implications from this study are that positive life experiences, educational experiences, and clinical experiences with children strongly influenced student respondents’ considerations to practice pediatrics. Integration of these experiences earlier and throughout a physical therapy program can positively influence students’ considerations to practice pediatrics.
Elbert, Amy Joleen, "Factors And Experiences That Influence Physical Therapy Students' Considerations To Practice Pediatric Physical Therapy" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 2454.