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Towards a theoretical framework for curriculum development in health professional education
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by A Lee, C Steketee, G Rodgers, Monica MoranMonica Moran
The aim of health professional education is to graduate safe, capable practitionerswho are able to meet the healthcare needs of society. In meeting this aim,contemporary health curriculum tends to focus primarily on the articulationof competencies (often expressed as objectives, outcomes or attributes)and learning activities, resources and assessment tasks that are designedto produce these outcomes. This linear approach is typically informedby classical models of curriculum development that rarely recognisethe dynamic, multi-dimensional and integrated nature of curriculum. Nor dothey make visible the value judgements regarding present and future healthcareneeds or workplace practices that actually shape curriculum. This paper describes a conceptualframework for curriculum development in health professional education.Developed in the context of a major national project for the reviewand renewal of interprofessional education curriculum, the fourdimensionalframework supports the conceptualisation and design of curriculum for health professionsmore broadly. It recognises the need to connect health curriculum directly tothe larger political, social and economic issues surrounding the profession forwhich it aims to prepare graduates in addition to acknowledging thecultural and historical forces that often underpin these influences. The proposedframework does not offer a prescriptive set of steps for curriculum developersto follow. Rather, it is intended to assist educators who are developing, reviewingor reshaping health professional courses in the higher education sectorso that graduates can receive the most comprehensive preparation for thecomplexities of the present and future health workplace.