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What is best?: Reflecting on context and contingency in ‘best’ practice

What is best?: Reflecting on context and contingency in 'best' practice

There is much discussion of 'best evidence' or 'best practices' as a way of sharing and making use of the wisdom and experience of others. In this session we will consider the contextual and constrained nature of evidence and practice, the importance of considering context and contingency, and the ways in which scholars and practitioners may be equipped to think differently about problems and their solutions in the education of tomorrow's physicians and health care practitioners.

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Description

There is much discussion of 'best evidence' or 'best practices' as a way of sharing and making use of the wisdom and experience of others, particularly if it is articulated through the formalities of scholarly inquiry and writing. However, context confounds all and scholarship is intrinsically limited in scope and translation. When we say 'best' might it be more appropriate to say 'better' or perhaps even an ugly but more honest construct such as 'less worse'? Rather than the hyperbolic use of 'best' as a way of suggesting there is one right way to do or think in professional practice, should we not consider the variety of need and application of any solution or approach? In this session we will consider the contextual and constrained nature of evidence and practice, the importance of considering context and contingency, and the ways in which scholars and practitioners may be equipped to think differently about problems and their solutions in the education of tomorrow's physicians and health care practitioners.

Title

What is best?: Reflecting on context and contingency in 'best' practice

Presenters

Dr. Rachel Ellaway is Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, and Director of the Office of Health and Medical Education Scholarship for the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She was the Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Planning at the Northern Ontario school of Medicine before moving to Calgary in 2015. Dr. Ellaway is also the editor in chief of the journal Advances in Health Sciences Education (AHSE), chair of the national medical education centre directors’ group, and she was the creator and Maîtresse de Cérémonies of the AMEE Fringe for many years. As an internationally acclaimed scholar her work has encompassed many aspects and debates in contemporary medical education including educational technologies, contexts, philosophy of educational science, and philosophies of equity and service. Her contributions have been recognized in many awards including the CAME Ian Hart Award for Distinguished Contribution to Medical Education, the RCPSC Duncan Graham Award for Outstanding Contribution to Medical Education, the AFMC President’s Award for Exemplary National Leadership in Academic Medicine, and the Meridith Marks Mentorship Award.

Dr. Elizabeth Anne Kinsella is Professor and Director of the Institute of Health Sciences Education, in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, at McGill University. Her scholarship is focused on philosophical perspectives on knowledge, epistemologies of practice, and the implications for professional education and practice in health and social care professions. She is particularly interested in how reflective and reflexive practices, practice-based knowledge generation, ethical deliberation, phronesis, embodiment and the arts and humanities in health professions education and practice. Anne has published over 100 articles and book chapters including a workbook on Reflective practice and professional knowledge. And has co-edited three books on: Phronesis as Professional Knowledge: Practical Wisdom in the Professions; Embodiment and Professional Education: Body, Practice, Pedagogy and Mobilizing Knowledge: Critical Reflections on Foundations and Practices.  

Rounds Details

Best Practice in Education Rounds (BPER) are co-hosted by the Centre for Faculty DevelopmentThe Wilson Centre and the Centre for Interprofessional Education.

Our Best Practice in Education Rounds (BPER) are accredited group learning activities as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. They are also accredited group learning activities as defined by the College of Family Physicians and Surgeons.

For more information about BPER, please click here.

Event Details

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Education Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital
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