Few studies have examined experiences and learning from the viewpoint of interprofessional facilitators of student placements, and limited research has investigated this learning enacted across traditional service boundaries or between health and education practitioners. This study aimed to address these gaps by exploring perceptions about the learning and experiences of Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) who facilitated placements in childcare settings for speech-language pathology students from a health professional background. Lave and Wenger’s theory of Legitimate Peripheral Participation was utilised to design and interpret this study. Seven ECEs from two childcare centres and four Centre Directors participated in focus groups and individual semi structured interviews respectively. Thematic analysis revealed five themes that described how the ECEs came to accept the students as legitimate members of their practice community, and how this subsequently facilitated the ECEs’ learning. The themes of power described in previous studies that explored status and hierarchical differences between facilitators and students from differing professions were not identified in this study. This absence of observed power differential, in addition to the embedded nature of the placement design, and the students’ participation in the ECEs’ everyday activities and routines contributed to the ECEs’ positive interprofessional learning.
- Interprofessional learning
- Legitimate peripheral participation