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Perspectives on Pediatric Physical Therapy Education

Spake, Ellen F. PT, PhD

Pediatric Physical Therapy: April 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 - p 2–6
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000002
Special Communication

Purpose: The Section on Pediatrics convened an Education Summit in July 2012 to examine, discuss, and respond to documented inconsistencies and challenges in teaching pediatric physical therapy content in entry-level professional education programs. This lecture was designed to provide attendees with the history of pediatric physical therapy education, stemming from the author's early involvement with the Section on Pediatrics and as a long-standing academician.

Summary of Key Points: The limited literature on pediatric physical therapy education was reviewed and used to highlight the continued variability across programs. The challenge was presented to build upon attendees' scholarship of teaching and learning.

Statement of Conclusions: These remarks were designed to help understand the growth and development in pediatric physical therapy education over the past 40 years and to encourage others to use what has been learned to build a stronger foundation for the future.

This keynote lecture for the 2012 Section on Pediatrics Education Summit presents an historical view of progress in providing pediatric content within professional physical therapist education.

Department of Physical Therapy, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Missouri.

Correspondence: Ellen F. Spake PT, PhD, Rockhurst University, 5200 Rockhurst Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110 (

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.