A change in perspective : learning in traditional Chinese medicine

Terry, John W (2001) A change in perspective : learning in traditional Chinese medicine. Research Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


Learning in Traditional Chinese Medicine has been given a higher profile with the establishment of several government accredited higher education courses over recent years within Australia. Learning a system of health care with a basis in Traditional Chinese thought raises particular issues for contemporary students in Western tertiary institutions. This thesis addresses the nature of these issues and how they may be addressed to the benefit of students and ultimately their future clients. Literature and qualitative field research were used to establish fundamental directions for this study. These suggested that a significant change in perspective occurs in the learning of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Western students. This was investigated through qualitative field research carried out with final year Traditional Chinese Medicine students. Informants were interviewed on their background and experience of learning before completing a case study problem solving exercise. Change of perspective was considered in terms of paradigm and examined in three aspects; construct, sociological and metaphysical. These aspects of paradigm were applied to Traditional Chinese Medicine education. Findings from the field research suggest that learning of construct and sociological aspects of paradigm can be considered an incremental process and learning of the metaphysical paradigm as a transformational change process. Pedagogical recommendations are made to support learning through each of the aspects of the paradigm of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The importance of academics encouraging a deep student approach to learning and providing practical experiences of Traditional Chinese Medicine are emphasised.

Additional Information

Master Health Science

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/17920
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Keywords Chinese medicine, practitioners, higher education, learning, students, pedagogy, Australia
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