Dr. Taff’s research interests include developing and evaluating inclusive learning climates in higher education, the impact of sociopolitical environments and climate change on occupational engagement, the role of dis/misinformation on well-being, graduate student and faculty mental health and flourishing, impact of philosophy of teaching statements on student learning, use of theory and philosophy in occupational therapy education, critical learning theory, and continuous improvement practices in higher education.
In the MSOT program, Dr. Taff leads Applied Learning Strategies in Practice and Teaching and assists in the Professional Identity and Practice I and II courses. In the OTD program, he teaches Leading Change and Justice in the Profession. In the PhD program, Dr. Taff guides the Teaching Practicum.
2005: PhD in education and educational psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
1997: MS in occupational therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, Program in Occupational Therapy
1989: BS in microbiology, Missouri State University
Dr. Taff earned his bachelor's degree in microbiology in 1989 from Missouri State University, his master's degree in occupational therapy in 1997 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and his doctoral degree in education and educational psychology in 2005 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After graduating from the Program in 1997, Dr. Taff worked as a pediatric occupational therapist at Special School District (SSD) in St. Louis County before accepting a management position as the director for the occupational therapy, physical therapy and adaptive physical education department at SSD, where he served for nearly seven years. Dr. Taff has also served as adjunct professor in St. Louis University’s School for Professional Studies, teaching courses in special education, human growth and development, classroom management, and teaching methods. Dr. Taff has continued interests in curriculum development (formal, informal, and hidden); program evaluation and continuous improvement models; educational research and the scholarship of teaching and learning; critical learning theories; and the historical, philosophical, and sociocultural aspects of education and occupational therapy. He also is heavily involved in School of Medicine diversity, equity and inclusion, inter-professional education, and leadership initiatives.
Taff, S.D. (2023). A framework for creating and using teaching philosophy statements to guide reflective and inclusive instruction. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education.
Cruz, D. M. C., Taff, S. D., & Davis, J.A. (2023). Occupational engagement: Some assumptions to inform occupational therapy. Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional, 31, e3385. https://doi.org/10.1590/2526-8910.ctoAR259233852
Pitonyak, J.S., Giles, A.K., George-Paschal, L.A., Piernik-Yoder, B., & Taff, S.D. (2023). The use of mentored inquiry communities to foster the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL): Outcomes of the American Occupational Therapy Association SoTL program (2007-2017). International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 17(1), 1-8.
Taff, S.D., & Clifton, M. (2022). Inclusion and belonging in higher education: A scoping study of contexts, barriers, and facilitators. Higher Education Studies, 12(3), 122-133. https://doi.org/10.5539/hes.v12n3p122
Clifton, M., & Taff, S.D. (2021). The FOCUUS Model- Facilitating Occupational Performance on Campus: Uplifting Underrepresented Students. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 5 (3). https://encompass.eku.edu/jote/vol5/iss3/14
Hooper, B., Krishnagiri, S., Price, P., Taff, S. D., & Bilics, A. (2020). Assignment Artifacts and What They Reveal About How Occupation Is Addressed in US Occupational Therapy Curricula. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(4), 7404205090p1-7404205090p11. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.036012.
Bakhshi, P., Taff, S.D., Trani, J-F., & Kaplan, I. (8 June 2020) Inclusion in education: A very useful crisis. UNESCO Futures of Education Ideas LAB. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/futuresofeducation/ideas-lab/inclusion-education-very-useful-crisis
Berg, C., Philipp, R., & Taff, S.D. (2019). Critical thinking and transformational learning: Using case studies as narrative frameworks for threshold concepts. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 3(3), 1-14. https://encompass.eku.edu/jote/vol3/iss3/13.
Brottman, M., Char, D., Hattori, R., Heeb, R., & Taff, S.D. (2019). Toward cultural competency in health care: A scoping literature review of diversity and inclusion education literature. Academic Medicine. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002995.
Babulal, G.M., Selvaratnam, A., & Taff, S.D. (2018). Existentialism and occupational therapy: Implications for practice, research, and education. Occupational Therapy in Healthcare, 1-19.
Taff, S.D., Hooper, B., Krishnagiri, S., Bilics, A., & Price, P. (2018). Traversing hills and valleys: Exploring doing, being, becoming, and belonging, experiences in teaching and studying occupation. Journal of Occupational Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2018.1488606
Hooper, B., Gupta, J., Bilics, A., & Taff, S.D. (2018). Balancing efficacy and effectiveness with philosophy, history and theory-building in occupational therapy education research. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 6 (1), 1-9.
Krishnagiri, S., Hooper, B., Price, P., Taff, S.D., & Bilics, A. (2017). Explicit or hidden? Exploring how occupation is taught in U.S. occupational therapy curricula. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (2), 7102230020p1-7102230020p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024174
Taff, S.D., & Blash, D. (2017). Diversity and inclusion in occupational therapy: Where we are, where we must go. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 31 (1), 72-83.
Hooper, B., Mitcham, M.D., Taff, S.D., M. Krishnagiri, S., Price, P., & Bilics, A. (2015). Energizing occupation as the center of teaching and learning. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69 (Suppl. 2), 6912360010. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.018242
Taff, S.D., Babulal, G.M., & Bakhshi, P. (2014). The accountability-wellbeing-ethics framework: A new philosophical foundation for occupational therapy. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81, 320-329. doi: 10.1177/0008417414546742
Taff, S.D., Russell-Thomas, D.C., Tyminski, Q.P., Wilson, A., Barco, P., & Berg, C. (2021). Occupational therapy in pandemic: Facing challenges, building resilience, and sparking innovation. In A. Lynch, L. Tekell, & R. Ashcraft (Eds.). Trauma, Occupation, and Participation. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association Press.
Taff, S.D. (2021). What is philosophy? In S.D. Taff (Ed.). Philosophy and occupational therapy: Informing education, research, and practice. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Taff, S.D., & Babulal, G.M. (2021). Reframing the narrative on the philosophies influencing the development of occupational therapy. In S.D. Taff (Ed.). Philosophy and occupational therapy: Informing education, research, and practice. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Taff, S.D. (Ed.). (2021). Philosophy and occupational therapy: Informing education, practice, and research. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Taff, S.D., Grajo, L.C., & Hooper, B.R. (Eds.). (2020). Perspectives on occupational therapy education: Past, present, and future. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Taff, S.D., Grajo, L.C., & Hooper, B.R. (2020). Occupational therapy education: Weaving together the past, present, and future. In S.D. Taff, L.C. Grajo, & B.R. Hooper (Eds.). Perspectives on occupational therapy education: Past, present, and future. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Taff, S.D. (2020). Educational philosophies influencing the development of early occupational therapy curricula. In S.D. Taff, L.C. Grajo, & B.R. Hooper (Eds.). Perspectives on occupational therapy education: Past, present, and future. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Harvison, N., Taff, S.D., Grajo, L.C., & Hooper, B.R. (2020). Imagining the occupational therapy educational landscape in 2050. In S.D. Taff, L.C. Grajo, & B.R. Hooper (Eds.). Perspectives on occupational therapy education: Past, present, and future. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Clough, C., Gronski, M.P., & Taff, S.D. (2019). Best practices in preparing students to practice occupational therapy in schools. In G.F. Clark, J. Rioux, & B. Chandler (Eds.). Best practices for occupational therapy in schools (2nd. Ed.). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.
Taff, S.D. & Danforth, S. (2016). John Dewey and philosophy of disability. In M.A. Peters (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Springer.
2022: Exemplary Educator Award, Washington University School of Medicine
2019: Inaugural Fellow, Academy of Educators, Washington University School of Medicine
2017: Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, Emerson Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri
2016: Roster of Fellows Award, Advancing education, promoting diversity, and supporting collaboration, American Occupational Therapy Association
2008: Excellence in Teaching Award, St. Louis University, School for Professional Studies
Taff, Steve, PhD, OTR/L, FNAP, FAOTA
Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine
Director, Teaching Scholars Program,
Washington University School of Medicine
Phone: (314) 286-0043
Fax: (314) 286-1601
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