Teacher: Anna Eva Hallin, assistant professor, CLINTEC, Division of Speech and Language Pathology
Exchange: Erasmus+, Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Antwerp, Belgien
Dates: 14-16 March, 2023
In March I was invited to participate in the 18th iteration of the Thomas More International Days at the Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in Antwerp, Belgium. I was hosted by the Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, and the theme was Multidisciplinary in Teaching.
The Thomas More International Days gather more than 100 international guests across 14 campuses and all departments every year. The questions that we were invited to discuss, teach and reflect on this year were
- Is it possible to break down walls between faculties?
- What do students gain from leaving their own discipline?
- Do you feel comfortable as a teacher leaving your own discipline?
I gave a staff presentation and held three workshops with speech-language-pathology (SLP) students on collaboration between SLPs and teachers, both in teaching and in practice, an area which is very important to me, and which was well received. I argued that yes – we can gain A LOT from leaving our own discipline and learn from each other, both as students, teachers and clinicians, and I got the opportunity to share one of my favorite quotes, stating that on interprofessional collaboration (or should I say interprofessional magic?) happens
“…when two or more individuals from different backgrounds with complementary skills interact to create a shared understanding that none had previously possessed or could have come to on their own” (WHO, 2010)
The teaching part of my exchange was very enjoyable, but it was also very valuable with the activities arranged by Thomas More where staff and invited teachers could meet, mingle and network, across disciplines, and I came home with several contacts that might lead to more exchanges in the future.
The teacher aspects of tandem teaching
One of the most inspiring parts of the exchange for me was the keynote lecture for all guest teachers at the international days by Dr Nava Shaked from the Holon Institute of Technology (Israel). She is a founder of the School of Multidisciplinary Study, where students from different disciplines study together, and teachers from different disciplines tandem-teach together. All students at the Holon Institute must take a semester of courses in this school. Dr. Shaked focused on the teacher aspects of tandem teaching – both the challenges (You don’t always agree! It takes more time to prepare!) and the many benefits (You learn a lot! You model interdisciplinary collaboration for your students! You develop new knowledge! You become friends!).
Create “interprofessional magic” at KI
Karolinska Institutet seek to educate interprofessional professionals, and we already have many activities, also in my unit, where our students get knowledge from other disciplines through lectures and other learning activities. Speech and language pathology is a multidisciplinary area, in itself, and our students take courses in linguistics, psychology and medicine, in addition to courses in speech and language pathology. When I reported back to my colleagues at the SLP program, several said that they had tried team teaching, but we agreed that this is something that we could try and develop further. Maybe we will even be able to create shared understandings that non have previously possessed or could have come to on their own?