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Teaching Sociology within the Speech and Language Therapy Curriculum

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  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine


In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists suggests that sociology should be included within the speech and language therapy curriculum. However, in spite of this, sociology is seldom given priority. Although the role of sociology with the curricula of other professions has been discussed, the role of sociology within speech and language therapy has not. Given the contemporary climate of competence-based training, the position of subjects such as sociology is being compromised. This paper sets out three reasons in support of including sociology within speech and language therapy by drawing on the distinction between a ""personal education"" and a ""semantic conjunction"" model of the relationship between theory and professional practice. First, it is argued that sociology makes a valid contribution to an holistic approach to care–which is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of speech and language therapy practice. Second, this paper suggests that the inherent reflexivity within the discipline provides health professionals with an invaluable tool with which to engage in reflexive practice. Finally, it is argued that given the global emphasis on evidence-based practice, the study of sociology and sociological research methods equips therapists to interpret and conduct empirical research. This paper concludes by arguing that sociology should be viewed as an essential component of the speech and language therapy curriculum.

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