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BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE
Year : 2001  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 383-391

Teaching Sociology within the Speech and Language Therapy Curriculum


Centre for Healthcare Education, University College Northam pton, Northampton, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
S Earle
Lecturer in Health Studies, Centre for Healthcare Education, University College Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Speech and L anguage Therapists suggests that sociology should be included within the speech and language therapy curriculum. However, in spite of this, sociology is seldom given priority. A lthough the role of sociology with the curricula of other professions has been discussed, the role of sociology within speech and language therapy has not. Given the contemporary climate of competence-based training, the position of subjects such as sociology is being compromised. This paper sets out three reasons in support of including sociology within speech and language therapy by drawing on the distinction between a "personal education'' and a "semantic conjunction'' model of the relationship between theory and professional practice. First, it is argued that sociology mak es a valid contribution to an holistic approach to care-which is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of speech and language therapy practice. Second, this paper suggests that the inherent reflexivity within the discipline provides health professionals with an invaluable tool with which to engage in reflexive practice. Finally, it is argued that given the global emphasis on evidence-based practice, the study of sociology and sociological research methods equips therapists to interpret and conduct empirical research. This paper concludes by arguing that sociology should be viewed as an essential component of the speech and language therapy curriculum.


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