Being a clinical educator

Chris Lidner, Narelle Patton

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    In this chapter we explore an experienced clinical educator’s (Chris) experience of clinical education and identify the learning theories underpinning his practice. Chris has been involved in the direct supervision of physiotherapy undergraduate students for over 15 years. He has supervised students across all year levels from Universities throughout Australia. In addition, Chris has also coordinated the student program at a large regional health service and thus also has broad experience in the administrative components of hosting student placements. We build this chapter on the premise that while clinical educators may have extensive discipline specific practice experience they often come to clinical education with little if any foundation in educational theory and practice. Through Chris’ longitudinal view of clinical education, we explore how clinical educators construct clinical workplace learning experiences for students and develop their own understanding of the learning theories that underpin those experiences. As we journeyed through Chris’ wide-ranging clinical education experiences we came to more deeply understand the development of clinical education expertise. Clinical education practice knowledge is constructed through a process of developing students’ clinical learning experiences based on sound understanding of learning theories, followed by reflection on those experiences in order to enhance them for future implementation. Flexibility has emerged as key to this approach to clinical education, as clinical educators are required to adapt their clinical teaching practices to meet dynamic and complex organisational, professional and student demands.This understanding illuminates the complex and fluid nature of clinical education as clinical educators shape their education practices to best meet individual students’ needs in light of organisational and professional demands. It also highlights the central role of clinical educators in the construction of positive workplace learning experiences for students and the consequent importance of resilience to prevent clinical educator burn out.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDeveloping practice capability
    Subtitle of host publicationTransforming workplace learning
    EditorsNarelle Patton, Joy Higgs, Megan Smith
    Place of PublicationLeiden, The Netherlands
    PublisherBrill | Sense
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9789004366923
    ISBN (Print)9789004366916, 9789004366909
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2018

    Publication series

    NameHigher Education Horizons
    PublisherBrill Sense


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