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In Defense of Cookbooks: From Novice to Competent Clinician

Peña, Elizabeth D. PhD; Kiran, Swathi PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.TLD.0000333599.30468.9d

Clinical practicum is an important means through which clinicians gain the knowledge and skills needed to provide effective services for a broad variety of clients. Through practicum, student clinicians learn about the practices of the profession. The manner in which this transmission of knowledge occurs, however, is largely unknown. The focus of this paper is to examine the fundamental assumptions that underlie the success of clinical training and integrate it with knowledge from various strands of learning models. Using a cookbook analogy, we examine the studies of learning in different conditions and the literature comparing novice and expert learners. On the basis of these findings, we propose a two-dimensional, phased model of clinical teaching. We then provide examples of how this model can be implemented into clinical training of speech–language pathology students. An added benefit to a phased approach is that the theory-to-practice link is strengthened when students have the opportunity to develop, implement, and test the assessment and intervention proposals in a systematic manner.

From the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas, Austin.

Corresponding author: Elizabeth D Peña, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 78712 (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins