From competency to capability: an essential development for chiropractic education

Ebrall, P 2007, 'From competency to capability: an essential development for chiropractic education', Chiropractic Journal of Australia, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 61-67.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title From competency to capability: an essential development for chiropractic education
Author(s) Ebrall, P
Year 2007
Journal name Chiropractic Journal of Australia
Volume number 37
Issue number 2
Start page 61
End page 67
Total pages 7
Publisher Chiropractors' Association of Australia
Abstract Objective: To demonstrate, using contemporary theories of learning and teaching, that the competencies as included within the standards for first professional chiropractic programs published by the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia are weak measures of the preferred educational outcomes of educational programs in the chiropractic discipline. It is argued that competencies must immediately be replaced by higher level graduate capabilities. Discussion: Reference is made to a hierarchy of knowledge described by Biggs, and competencies are shown to lie at the lower levels of this hierarchy, namely about the level of declarative and procedural knowledge. In contrast, graduate capabilities are shown to be about place and time and the measures of how and where learned skills apply. As such they graduate up the knowledge hierarchy and represent conditional and functioning knowledge and provide a more realistic mechanism for the student to make the transition from university to professional knowledge. Conclusion: Contemporary chiropractic educators hold a primary responsibility to their graduates and the things that will affect their practice in whatever global environment they find themselves. It is imperative that capability-based curricular items replace those based solely on competencies to ensure chiropractic programs produce graduates that retain a high degree of relevance in the rapidly changing field of health care.
Subject Chiropractic
Keyword(s) Competency-based education
Chiropractic education
clinical competence
ISSN 1036-0913
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