Die opstel van ‘n kriteriale struktuur vir die ontwerp van ‘n geskrewe arbeidsterapiekurrikulum, met spesiale verwysing na die Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland
The purpose of this study was, first, to develop an occupational therapy curriculum theory to serve as a guideline for South African occupational therapy educators wishing to expand their insight into their work. This was done and is presented on the basis of a critical review of key sources from the literature about curriculum. The occupational therapy curriculum arrived at in this manner was intended to serve as a basis for the development of a set of criteria in terms of which the ongoing viability of the existing written occupational therapy curriculum of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) could be evaluated. The set of criteria thus arrived at was then applied to three documents: the written Minimum Standards for the training of Occupational Therapists of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), the written Minimum Standards for the training of Occupational Therapy students of the South African Medical and Dental Council (SAMOC), and the written Occupational Therapy curriculum of the University of the Western Cape. The purpose was to identify the curricular assumptions underpinning these documents, and also to evaluate their ongoing viability as guidelines (in the case of the WFOT and SAMOC documents) or as curricula (in the case of UWC). It was found that the Minimum Standards of WFOT are essentially informed by a rationalistic philosophy, and that its ongoing viability (as a guideline for minimum standards) appears to be limited. The evaluation of the Minimum Standards of the SAMOC produced similar findings. The UWC document proved to be more eclectic, but again with academic rationalism as the dominant curriculum paradigm. However adequate it might be for the present, the longer-term viability of the document appeared questionable. After adaptation had been made to the UWC document on the basis of the developed set of criteria, its immediate viability seemed to have been enhanced, but with little effect on its longer-term viability. The excercise suggested that the process of curriculum planning, evaluation and modification can be facilitated by the application of such a set of criteria, presenting as it does a "nutshell" overview of an existing or amended curriculum. This study confirms that written occupational therapy curricula and standards provide no guarantee that curriculum intentions will be realized. Such documents merely provide the parameters within which curriculum debates can occur and in terms of which curriculum planning. implementation and evaluation can take place. As intentions have to be manifested in practice. the creation of an occupational therapy curriculum that is viable in an enduring way will require a study similar to this one but which addresses the operational curriculum.