Academic and Clinical Education
Significant variation in the curricular design, delivery, and pedagogical approach to delivering pediatric content exists in physical therapy education programs across the nation. While there is little to no evidence indicating these differences are detrimental, increasing pressures in healthcare and rising costs of higher education have made it imperative that there is a better understanding of the quality and cost effectiveness of the various educational patterns employed. This expanded knowledge will guide delivery of quality, cost effective education to optimally serve children and their families. A mixed methods study was conducted to investigate elements of excellence in pediatric physical therapy education. Pediatric physical therapy exemplar programs were identified and data was collected to describe faculty, curricular, and organizational characteristics contributing to excellence. Emerging themes from these sites included organizational culture, child/family interactions, community of practice, and context. Based upon the study results, a conceptual framework of excellence was developed that could be applied to programs to improve the overall quality of pediatric education. Conference attendees will inform the evolving conceptual framework to increase stakeholder participation and validate the framework. Finally, this pediatric conceptual framework will be compared and contrasted with the excellence in physical therapy education conceptual framework.