Doctoral Dissertation

26.10.2018 MSc. Hilkka Korpi (Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, Physiotherapy)


26.10.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Mattilanniemi , Agora, Auditorio 2
MSc. Hilkka Korpi defends her dissertation in Physiotherapy "Changing landscape in professional development - Narrative research from the physiotherapy students' perspective".

Opponent Kaisa Mannerkorpi (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Custos Professor Arja Piirainen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English. 


Physiotherapy students construct their professional development gradually in a socio-cultural process between school and working life in the health care sector. The Health Care Professionals Act 559/1994 and National Qualification Framework (NQF) define the legislative basis and education for physiotherapists in Finland. The European Qualification Framework (EQF) defines the learning outcomes in education and they focus on what knowledge, skills and competences the learner has acquired by the end of the learning process, but it does not identify how outcomes are achieved. The aim of this study is to investigate and understand physiotherapy students’ stories about their professional development during their whole study time in physiotherapy. A qualitative narrative approach was used in this dissertation, which consists of four separate articles. At present, professional development has four main aspects: previous experience, new learning, work culture and work agency. All those elements are needed in order to move forward in professional development. Three story models were formed from the students’ narratives: the story of an autonomous learner, the story of becoming a physiotherapy community member and the story of a critical developer. After students had found a suitable study place for themselves, learning to learn and learning physiotherapy practical work were the meaningful turning points in their narratives. Professional development is based on previous experience where reflection and narrative learning promote learning. In the future, professional development seems to move in the direction where the andragogic principles and whole person is considered more in the learning process. Creativity and multidisciplinary teamwork is needed for developing the work culture. With the previous, an independent active agency is bringing hope for professional development. It is essential to recognize the different elements of professional development. The different stages are equally meaningful and important in the process of development for expertise

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Hilkka Korpi

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