'Is there a Plan B?': Clinical educators supporting underperforming students in practice settings

Margaret Bearman, Elizabeth Molloy, Rola Ajjawi, Jennifer Keating

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    37 Citations (Scopus)


    The relationship between supervisors and students in work-based clinical settings is complex, but critical to the appropriate development of the learner. This study investigated the experiences of physiotherapy clinical educators of working with underperforming students, and specifically explored educational strategies used with this subgroup of learners. Findings indicated the cyclical relationship between clinical educator's stressful experiences of working in multifaceted roles within a clinical environment and their tendencies to provide 'more more more' - more of the same strategies, more feedback and supervision, and more of themselves - as their primary approach to supporting underperforming students. The data suggest that clinical educators did not have an alternative ('Plan B') if the 'more more more' approach did not produce results. We argue that the problem of managing underperforming students is a complex one without easy solutions but a focus on systems changes rather than upon individual students or clinical educators should be considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTeaching in Higher Education
    Early online date20 Dec 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • work-based learning
    • clinical supervision
    • Physiotherapy
    • education
    • underperformance
    • Remediation
    • Clinical competence


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