Clinical supervisor perspectives on strengthening theory-practice coherence in healthcare education: - a sociology of knowledge perspective

Karin Højbjerg*, Elise Bromann Bukhave, Cathrine Sand Nielsen, Søren Engelsen, Sine Lehn

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Increased focus on the practical components of Danish health care education and greater coherence between theory and practice have been persistently identified as major issues requiring quality improvement. Policy initiatives to standardize education in eight health professional bachelor’s programmes, including greater theory-practice coherence, prompted us to explore the types of educational practices highlighted by clinical supervisors to strengthen coherence between theory and practice. Thirty-one qualitative interviews were conducted with clinical supervisors in programmes in nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and health, biomedical laboratory science, midwifery, radiography, and psychomotor therapy. Data were thematically analysed in a sociology of knowledge framework. We found that theoretical knowledge had higher status in the programmes. The imbalance may have negative consequences, whereby theoria activities in the practical part of the programmes may, in unintended and subtle ways, increase in dominance. The intrinsic qualities of clinical practice are therefore at risk of being downplayed.
TidsskriftProfessions and Professionalism
StatusAccepteret/In press - 23 maj 2024


  • Clinical education
  • knowledge hierarchy
  • theory-practice gap
  • Reflection
  • simulation

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