As we near to the end of the course, I know many people were sceptical about this course and I think still are with regards to whether they have grown as a student physiotherapist. I am on the stance of the more reading and writing you do, they better you are in general.
(My) Pros of the course:
- Those who wouldn’t normally engage in debates in a classroom environment were encouraged to use this platform as a medium to exercise their ‘timid” factor.
- Facilitates thinking, reading and writing (always a plus).
- The use of reading pieces, videos and questions to stimulate thinking
- Interacting with peers and physiotherapists (qualified abroad and locally-much love Michael, Chantelle and Danelle)
- Urged to engage in thought provoking and often controversial or taboo topics and learning to break them down and get to the crux of the debate.
- Particularly interesting to see how others, especially my fellow peers viewed the world of ethics. How someone writes tells wonders about them.
(My) Cons of the course:
- That raw human interaction, where you get the tone of someone’s voice, the body language as well as emphatic facial expressions as writing is very one dimensional.
- 6 weeks to start the process of learning about ethics and ethical questions/encounters, too little if you ask me
My objectives for this course were simple (not SMART– since ethics is something that cannot be taught in the classroom). I wanted to expand my thinking, in such a way that I could look at an opposing view and see it objectively, not letting my personal feelings (since they always wish to be heard), my religious orientation or moral beliefs influence my thinking.
The course ‘exceeded expectations” (as Harry does in Potions). Sometimes I thought it was a bit intense, for the mere fact that I was forced to think about topics in depth before I could even begin formulating my stance, let alone my wording. Whilst I was researching, reading up and engaging with resources I found myself thinking, “6 weeks is so short”. Besides setting your own personal objective, i.e. complete one blog post a week and the likes thereof. I found myself wondering, how does one learn about ethics in 6 weeks? I thought about this… and thought about this, often spending more time thinking than formulating my post. I realise now that just thinking about the topic, formulating a stance based on evidence and then blogging about it, was a learning process in itself.
My favourite part of the course was replying to comments left by the readers who often put you in a little bit of an ethical net, but the rebuttal was enjoyable. I also was quite fascinated by the peer evaluation, reviewing 3 students work, taking account of the different writing style, and tones of voices and level of techo-savy which they possessed. I was appreciative for the feedback I received, as it helps me become a better writer or how I view it, a better story-teller. And story-telling is for the masses, not just those select few who have so called uncovered the secret to who Shakespeare’s Sonnet 104, “To me fair friend” is actually written to. I particularly delighted in the fact that one evaluator noted that I have a love for the English language (I bet I wasn’t the least bit obvious in this regard).
The week where we addressed the topic of Equality, was of course a tough week for some. Many draw parallels to our countries (South Africa’s) past history, and drawing links to the sort of “reverse Apartheid” which we have now. Where instead of the so called “whites being in domination, the so called “blacks” are in domination. The so called “coloureds” are still suck in the middle (this is a feeble attempt at trying to sound politically correct). I found that that week was one of great value. Although, in a Utopian world we all should be treated equally, it’s still quite disheartening that “all people are equal but some are more equal than others”.Medieval torture versus modern day torture was something wasn’t in my though process, until a comment made by Kelley, prompted this thinking. Kelley pointed out the fact, that the abuse people suffer in prisons can be compared to the modern day torture. I realised, torture is still alive and even more common than just in terrorist situations.Euthanasia, was an extremely difficult topic to address, I believe it is justifiable in certain extreme cases, but am still a bit ambivalent on the whole subject. I learnt about organisations, government and laws of the land, and learnt that there is just too many parties in the gamble to consider when trying to draw a conclusion
I don’t think I’ll change any of my clinical practice techniques as they haven’t been tested in a difficult manner which often drives a change of thinking, but what has changed is my mindfulness to what is standardised. I always knew there was these guidelines that we are governed by, but to be mindful and present as to what the information is conveying is another story.
My thinking and acknowledgement of the different way that people think has been broadened to even greater horizons. Most days I found myself prowling my FeedReader (RSS feeder) or d WordPress Reade checking who updated their blog last so I could get my daily dose of ethics.
Reflecting on this course made me come to the realisation as to how important reading and critically analysing pieces are. Without this skill, you won’t be able to decipher meaningful information from the useless jargon. And this skill can only be developed through the Associative stage of Motor Learning and that is through practice, practice and more PRACTICE.
So keep on practising.