"I Learned Nothing from Him...". Reflections on Problematic Issues with Peer Modeling in Rehabilitation

Oeyvind F. Standal


Peer learning involves processes whereby inexperienced persons learn from persons with more experience. Previous research has shown the benefit of peer learning to the rehabilitation process of people with spinal cord injuries and others using a wheelchair, yet discussions of problematic aspects are scant. Thus, the purpose of this article is to highlight two problems with peer learning. By presenting a vignette elaborated from a phenomenologically oriented case study of a wheelchair skills program at a Norwegian rehabilitation unit, the problem of a naive view of empathy and the danger of inflicting symbolic violence are reflected upon. These reflections, though tentative, draw attention to the ethical responsibility of rehabilitation professionals who use peer learning as a part of their intervention.

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ISSN: 1913-4711