Physical Therapy StudentsÕ Awareness of their Fundamental Freedoms

Purpose/Hypothesis : In his essay and lecture presentations entitled the ÒAmerica, the Stupid Giant, is Evolving Backward,Ó Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts decries the substitution of ideology and popular culture for an understanding basic principles of science and knowledge of the basic principles that underlie American democracy. As an example, he stated that college students are more likely to know the names of the 5 members of the Simpson family from the television cartoon show than the 5 freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitution. The purpose of this study was to test this statement with doctoral physical therapy students.Number of Subjects : 18 doctoral physical therapy studentsMaterials/Methods : Doctoral physical therapy students were asked to list the 5 members of the Simpson family and the 5 freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment. The number of correct responses to each question was assessed for each student. Correct responses for each question were compared using a one-way analysis of variance (following a LeveneÕs test indicating equal variances could be assumed).Results : Physical therapy students could significantly (p = .041) name more Simpson family members (mean = 3.0) than fundamental freedoms (mean =1.89).Conclusions : These students could name significantly more members of the Simpson family than their fundamental freedoms. They only recently had their course work on legislative and regulatory issues related to physical therapy and the health professions. This study confirmed a previous study with undergraduate health professions students and suggests that there needs to be a greater emphasis on basic civics knowledge even among graduate physical therapy students.Clinical Relevance : Possible need to reassess doctoral physical therapy student knowledge of government and their fundamental freedoms.

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  • Control #: 1721849
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2014
  • Authors: David Lake
  • Keywords: Government|Tacit Knowledge

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