The "Why" Of Who We Are: Exploring the "Culture of Practice" Of Ministry of Education, Special Education Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists
This qualitative study sought to describe the shared ‘culture of practice’ of a group of Ministry of Education, Special Education occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Data from individual semi-structured interviews, enriched by insider observations, were thematically analysed within a cultural constructs framework. An ethos of practice underpinned by notions of collaborative practice, occupational practice, social justice and building inclusive society was revealed, with core attitudes, values and beliefs commensurate with practice within an inclusion philosophy and organisational culture. That ethos is distilled into seven guiding principles. Also emphasised was the enormity of the attitudinal shift entailed in leaving biomedical philosophies behind and embracing inclusion philosophy. The findings highlight the need for therapy-specific induction, supervision and mentoring for entering therapists, and the importance of preparing graduates for practice in non-medical settings.