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Thursday, June 19 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
CON7.03 – Developing Observation Skills and Appreciating Diverse Perspectives at the Art Centre: A New Approach for Health Care Professionals (Room A232)

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The study of visual art demands intense looking and honing of observation skills.  Students of Occupational Therapy must develop such skills so they can objectively assess in clinical situations, and communicate effectively with clients, in systems and on inter-professional teams.  The two practices mesh in an innovative, inter-disciplinary, ongoing program at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. The interactive seminar, co-developed by Dr. Wendy Pentland, Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, and Pat Sullivan, Public Programs Manager at the Art Centre, brings approximately 68 students in the Master of Occupational Therapy program to participate in an intensive two-hour session. They examine and discuss representational paintings and other works to practice acute observational skills and to develop an awareness of the diversity of stories, meanings, frames of reference and perspectives each of their peers bring to the same images.  The session manifests active engagement of students in learning particularly at the level of attitudes and self and interpersonal awareness; learning outside the classroom; a collaborative strategy of inter-disciplinary learning; a strategy for engagement of large numbers of students; and a method of motivating and challenging students.

The two presenters will alternate in demonstrating how the program works in the gallery setting, by showing images of some of the works of art used and describing student feedback and adaptations. Session participants will experience aspects of the seminar through offering their own comments and responses to the works of art shown.  The presenters will place this approach in a broader context, by assessing the development of this teaching method from its start at the Yale Center for British Art, Yale University, to other art galleries across the USA and Canada. Published case studies document this growth.

Thursday June 19, 2014 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
A232 McArthur Hall

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