What is “good use” of theory in health professions education? A Case Study of Communities of Practice and Situated Learning Theory
Session by: Bridget O’Brien, PhD
Critiques of health professions education research have prompted members of the community to put theoretical and conceptual frameworks to better use in their scholarly work. Many scholars aim to do this, but find it challenging to incorporate theory in ways that enrich their ideas, methods, findings, and implications. In this presentation, I will draw on findings from my review of literature using Communities of Practice and Situated Learning Theory to illustrate ways in which theory has (and has not) been put to good use in health professions education. From these examples, I will suggest ways to use these theories and others more effectively in HPE scholarship.
Objectives. By the end of this session audience members will be able to:
1. Characterize ways of using theory in HPE publications.
2. Describe key concepts in Communities of Practice and Situated Learning Theory
3. Identify studies that make good use of theory (especially CoP and SLT)
4. Suggest ways to improve use of theory in HPE scholarship