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Evaluating STAR - a transformative learning framework : interdisciplinary action research in health training
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Margaret McallisterMargaret Mcallister, F Oprescu, T Downer, M Lyons, F Pelly, N Barr
Transformative learning aims to awaken students to issues of injustice, and to promote their critical analysis of assumptions, beliefs and values that lead to and sustain social inequities, so that they may become agents of social change. This paper introduces the Sensitise Take Action and Reflection (STAR) framework, which encapsulates transformative learning principles, as a tool for educators to enhance student health professionals’ capacity and preparedness to address health inequities they are likely to encounter in their future practice. Using an action research methodology within a three-cycle process, STAR was trialled and evaluated by an interdisciplinary team of health educators (n = 25) in an Australian university. Disciplines included: nursing, nutrition and dietetics, public health, occupational therapy and paramedic science. Data were gathered via individual interviews, focus group discussions and field notes, and were analysed inductively, with member-checking of emerging themes to ensure interpretive rigour. The results of this research suggest that STAR is easily understood by users, has relevance for health professional education, and holds promise for producing desired educational outcomes within and across health disciplines. Furthermore, this project could be considered a model for fostering inter-professional collaboration in health education, research and practice.