Midwifery participatory curriculum development: Transformation through active partnership.

Authors: Sidebotham M, Walters C, Chipperfield J, Gamble J


Nurse Educ Pract. 2017 Jul;25:5-13

Evolving knowledge and professional practice combined with advances in pedagogy and learning technology create challenges for accredited professional programs. Internationally a sparsity of literature exists around curriculum development for professional programs responsive to regulatory and societal drivers. This paper evaluates a participatory curriculum development framework, adapted from the community development sector, to determine its applicability to promote engagement and ownership during the development of a Bachelor of Midwifery curriculum at an Australian University. The structures, processes and resulting curriculum development framework are described. A representative sample of key curriculum development team members were interviewed in relation to their participation. Qualitative analysis of transcribed interviews occurred through inductive, essentialist thematic analysis. Two main themes emerged: (1) 'it is a transformative journey' and (2) focused 'partnership in action'. Results confirmed the participatory curriculum development process provides symbiotic benefits to participants leading to individual and organisational growth and the perception of a shared curriculum. A final operational model using a participatory curriculum development process to guide the development of accredited health programs emerged. The model provides an appropriate structure to create meaningful collaboration with multiple stakeholders to produce a curriculum that is contemporary, underpinned by evidence and reflective of 'real world' practice.



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