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Exploring a Model of Effectual Learning for a Student Speech Pathology Placement at a Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Centre in Malaysia


Sandra Van Dort ,

Charles Sturt University, Albury, AU; Sandra Van Dort, FakultiSainsKesihatan, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, MY
About Sandra

Sandra van Dort is a senior lecturer in the faculty of Health Sciences University Kebangsaan Malaysia. Her academic interests are clinical education, CBR and pediatric language disorders.

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Linda Wilson,

Charles Sturt University, Albury, AU
About Linda

Linda Wilson teaches at the Speech Pathology program at Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia. She has a strong commitment to social justice and her research interests include rural speech pathology services, health service provision and stuttering.

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Julia Coyle

Charles Sturt University, Albury, AU
About Julia

Julia Coyle is Dean of Students at Charles Sturt University where she is responsible for enhancing student experiences and ensuring quality student centered practice. Her key research interests are in inter-professional health practice, team work and injury prevention.  Julia's  clinical practice as a physiotherapist spanned 20 years with experience in London UK, and Australia across metropolitan, regional and remote areas, and in both public and private health contexts.  As the Head of School of Community Health (2006 to 2012) at Charles Sturt University she was responsible for education programs for occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology.

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Purpose: Speech-language pathologists in Malaysia typically do not work within CBR. Therefore, exploring the use of services through a non-traditional student placement was a crucial first step in understanding how to develop capacity for such services. It was also important to develop an understanding of the ways in which the implementation of this student placement influenced learning in the context of a Malaysian CBR programme.

Method: An action research study was designed to implement and evaluate student speech-language pathology (SLP) placement within a Malaysian community-based rehabilitation (CBR) centre for children with communication disabilities. Data collection involved the learning experiences of key adult stakeholders (students, workers, parents, and the principal research investigator (PI) or lead author).

Results: Study findings indicated that all adult learners became better empowered by working together. Workers involved in impairment-focussed rehabilitation activities grew in understanding and skills when supported by relevant professionals.The importance of mentoring as a learning-teaching relationship was demonstrated.

Conclusion: While the study has indicated that the setting is beneficial as a student placement, the development of a specialisation in CBR for allied health professionals would be a relevant way forward in the Malaysian context.

How to Cite: Van Dort, S., Wilson, L. and Coyle, J., 2014. Exploring a Model of Effectual Learning for a Student Speech Pathology Placement at a Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Centre in Malaysia. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 25(4), pp.22–42. DOI:
Published on 24 Dec 2014.


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