“Concern for individuals served” is one of the new Professional Practice Competencies in the updated 2017 standards for accreditation of graduate education according to the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. In light of this recent standard, graduate programs must facilitate skill development related to this competency. How does one teach “concern” and “compassion” in an authentic manner? This study investigates the impact of an assignment designed to address this standard. The assignment under investigation involves an in-class “book club” centered around reading non-fiction books detailing personal accounts of families impacted by disabilities. In order to understand the impact of the assignment, reflective essays were collected and an anonymous survey of students’ perceptions was administered. The findings show that this assignment was perceived favorably by students and that the assignment provided them with an authentic look at the lives of families with children impacted by disabilities, which in turn, led to greater feelings of empathy and understanding. Additionally, students were inspired to become strong advocates for children with disabilities. These findings suggest that it is possible as well as practical for faculty to address this professional standard in a meaningful way within the graduate-level classroom.
How to Teach Concern: Inspiring Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Students to Develop Empathy and Advocacy with the Power of Personal Stories.
Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders, 3(2).