Transformative learning through honours: the experience of allied health students

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Intrigued and concerned by the small number of students enrolling in honours, my interest is in exploring the experience of honours students in allied health. Working with student participants from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology at a regional and a metropolitan university, I am capturing their experiences through a series of interviews.Recently it has been proposed that the three core features common to honours curricula are advanced disciplinary knowledge, research training and the production of a substantial independent research thesis/project (Kiley, Nursoo et al. 2009). These are expected outcomes of an honours programme but what do students learn through honours?This presentation will share some of the students' experiences of learning as they work through honours. Students discuss honours as a very different way of learning and managing an honours workload with the competing demands of other subjects and clinical placement, requires a high level of self-motivation and self-belief. Learning about writing is for some students a motivation to undertake honours and for others, an unexpected benefit. Students find that their relationship with academic staff and other researchers is changed and their acceptance into the research community of practice comes as a surprising learning experience. Of particular interest is what students learn about themselves and how this learning through honours influences other areas of their lives.Students are no doubt transformed by the learning experience of honours and perhaps articulation of the impact of this learning can be used as a positive influence, in encouraging more students to consider honours.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducating Researchers for the 21st Century
EditorsMargaret Kiley
Place of PublicationAustralian National University
PublisherThe Centre for Educational Development and Academic Methods
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9780646535104
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventQuality in Postgraduate Research - Adelaide, SA, Australia
Duration: 13 Apr 201015 Apr 2010


ConferenceQuality in Postgraduate Research


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