Do You see What I See? – Ideas for Guiding Observations

“Have you ever…watched your [clinical educator] change her mind during an intervention and you have no idea why she chose something different…[or]…tried to do something that looked so easy for your [clinical educator] and got stuck after ‘Hi, my name is…’?” (Kingdon & Neufeld, 1999).

Ideas for the Clinical Educator:

The following will help your student see important client behaviour and clinician/client interactions:

1. As the student observes your sessions, have her record specific data about client behaviour and/or the clinical process. For example, have her

  • transcribe a client’s utterances in a language elicitation session
  • note specific feedback you provide the client and when you provide it
  • note the tests selected and the order of presentation
  • The data the student collects then forms the basis for the post-session discussion

2. Jointly view a videotaped session of your & client and point out, for example:

  • significant characteristics of the client’s communication and behaviour
  • your on-line actions and decisions in the session

3. Jointly view another clinician’s session and point out significant aspects of the session

4. Include opportunities for the student to observe you and other clinicians throughout the placement. As the student gains clinical skills herself, she will be able to observe more subtle aspects of clinician/client interaction

“[the student ] has to see on his own behalf and in his own way the relations between means and methods employed and results achieved. Nobody else can see for him, and he can’t see just by being ‘told’, although the right kind of telling may guide his seeing and thus help him see what he needs to see.” (Dewey, 1974)

What strategies do you find work well ? Let us know


Dewey, J. (1974) John Dewey on Education: Selected Writings. (R.D. Archambault, Ed.). Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press.

Kingdon, L. and Neufeld, J. (1999). Clinical Reasoning…What is it and why should I care? (unpublished).

Schon, D. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.