Moving Beyond Theories that Guide Child Life
Theories influence the beliefs and actions of child life professionals. For decades, child life specialists have applied developmental theories and screening tools in their work and have an ethical responsibility to reflect on theories and maintain currency in today's pediatric settings. This webinar will provide an opportunity to consider alternate theories, developed from childhood studies, that reflect today's views of children and childhood. A critique of developmental theories will provide a much-needed examination of how these conceptual frameworks affect the assessment we make and inhibit our ability to provide the best care.
Participants will be able to:
- Consider new ways of thinking and doing by incorporating insights from contemporary theories
- Challenge and deconstruct assumptions derived from developmental stage theories
- Incorporate new perspectives into assessments of patients and families
Recommended Exam Domain: Assessment
Donna Koller, Ph.D.
Dr. Donna Koller is a Professor within the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She has a doctoral degree in child development and applied psychology from the University of Toronto and has worked in three pediatric settings (US and Canada), both in clinical and research capacities. Currently, she holds an adjunct scientist position with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research Institute. Previously, she was employed as the first academic and clinical specialist in child life at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Canada. As a strong advocate for the child life profession, Dr. Koller wrote the first evidence-based practice statements for the Child Life Council. Her research interests include psychosocial care in pediatrics and children's participation rights in healthcare decision-making. Presently, she is principal investigator on two projects involving the social inclusion of children with chronic medical conditions and disabilities. As an outcome of a previous study, she helped create a psychoeducational tool called 'My Diabetes Playbox' to help young children with diabetes learn more about their disease; a newly created app based on the playbox is available in American and Canadian versions. Internationally, she has presented at several conferences and consulted on psychosocial care issues with pediatric health care providers in the Middle East and across North America.
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