The physical therapy professional curriculum at CMU has been developed based on a curriculum philosophy that is theoretically grounded in (1) an epistemology of professional knowledge and practice that identifies practitioner reflection‑in‑action and reflection‑on‑action as central to professional practice and the development of expertise, and (2) a theory of quality in graduate education that defines quality in terms of the degree of growth enhancing student learning experiences created by diverse and invested participants and interactive teaching and learning. (See curriculum philosophy for further information).
The curriculum has been constructed to be congruent with current theory and research in professional and adult education and to achieve the ideals set out in our philosophy. To this end, we have developed a CASE‑ORIENTED CURRICULUM in which clinical cases, authored by academic and clinical faculty, serve as both a catalyst for the introduction of curricular content and as a framework for continuing discussion and thoughtful reflection on cases that evolve as the curriculum proceeds. A case‑oriented curriculum is our attempt to address what has been called the "inert knowledge" problem by explicitly and frequently tying curricular content to the context for it's use; that is, professional knowledge and practitioner cognition are introduced and examined in the clinical situations in which they are used.
In addition, the curriculum is designed to offer numerous opportunities for collegial discussion among students and faculty, self‑assessment and self‑directed learning, and reflective practica. These opportunities are considered to be an integral part of learning experiences for our students in both the academic and clinical education components of the curriculum.
Click here to view a PDF of the DPT Curriculum.