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Reflections and lessons from a cross institutional curriculum change initiative Lou Comerford Boyes, Peter Hughes, Bev Lucas and Peter Hopkinson University.

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Presentation on theme: "Reflections and lessons from a cross institutional curriculum change initiative Lou Comerford Boyes, Peter Hughes, Bev Lucas and Peter Hopkinson University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reflections and lessons from a cross institutional curriculum change initiative Lou Comerford Boyes, Peter Hughes, Bev Lucas and Peter Hopkinson University of Bradford

2 The whole institutional curriculum challenge 2007 Education for sustainable development embed ESD in all course and programmes Part of Ecoversity- an University-wide approach to sustainable development Little prior engagement Large STEM and professionaly accredited curriculum No clear road map – complex, difficult and challenging

3 Policy and Strategy Academic champion model- 0.2FTE for each academic school – 3 years, Director of ESD central support Build capacity Implicit change model - bottom up, diffusionist Enable and encourage local articulation – avoiding a one size fits all or ecological perspective Value and validate existing good practices Identify keyholes or strategic opportunities, encourage innovation Bounded by formal procedures through Course Approval and Review

4 Case study MPharm student numbers hours labs/practicals. Pedagogy – science meaningful – responsible professionalism. Independent curriculum review – ESD potential. Chose professional practice module Significant potential for ESD.

5 Implementation Literature review – pharmacy, medicine. Evidenced based resources (PharmacyHealthLink, DH) Healthy you healthy planet, Towards a healthier planet,Our planet Devised directed learning exercises. Reference sources – further reading. Delivery – (90 students X 3 groups) Ecoversity, student ambassador, experienced pharmacy practitioner, academic.

6 Evaluation Students found class activities a positive learning experience and would influence work practice in the future. Most useful; evidence based resources, groupwork, (collaborative learning), pharmacy practice. Could be improved; timing of session, more interactive (visual), strengthen relevance for practice.

7 Reflections Engagement in learning activity – opportunity for integration of knowledge using practical application Contribute towards holistic patient care approach Process of curricular review – important consideration within context of significant change Collaborative approach between education and practice key in success

8 Review and evaluation of the pioneer strand The lone champion model and associated vulnerabilities. In terms of theoretical framework, Trowler et al (2009) suggests a shift away from individual action versus social-structural determination towards social practice theory: individuals are carriers of practice and practices are peculiar to location, therefore - constellations of behaviour and meanings occur at the local level and are therefore varied and impacted upon variously.

9 Methodology Longitudinal Qualitative Interviews Focus groups Reflective meetings

10 A seven condition experiment 7 schools = 7 models, Amounts to 7 outcomes with varying and various levels of success: - institutionally - project wise - personally

11 Key factors impacting on the lone champion model The individuals concerned – the personality effect can be a positive and a negative; Personal circumstances can be in flux – how to provide a buffer to protect the project? The mechanisms for recruiting (as well as drivers behind volunteering) for pioneerships are several and various, can also impact on outcomes.

12 What situates the pioneers People come with a wide range of SD expertises, energies, capacities and statuses; A one-size-fits-all model does not work: lone champions needs empowering as is appropriate to the specific local context;

13 Not a level playing field What happens when projects fall out of sync with each other? Consequences of wait while all can catch up approach Consequences of allowing whoever can should to forge ahead

14 Management and communication A careful balance of positive encouragement and scaffolding to support bottom up aspects, coupled with transparent and clearly articulated expectations emerging from top down aspects around the targets to be met is helpful Engaging senior managers meaningfully is clearly vital

15 Curriculum Development as a Complex Activity Even at the individual module or programme level curriculum development is a complex process. Curricula emerge through a mediation of individual, departmental, faculty/school, institutional, professional/disciplinary factors. Curriculum change may be effected through individuals, but works through social and cultural factors.

16 Whole-institutional Curriculum Change Needs to attend to curriculum change as social practice: any attempt to generalise across social contexts is fraught with danger (Trowler, 2010: 6)) Needs to recognise: Many faculty/staff feel alienated by the increased levels of bureacracy and administrationforced on them. The pace and extent of change have led to weariness and resistance and resisatnace to what is perceived to be externally imposed shifts in the higher education environment. (DAndrea and Gosling, 2005: 15)

17 Social Practices Approach (Trowler) Recognise people as carriers of practices. People develop unique sets of practices in different contexts. Universities are therefore multi-cultural configurations of different social practices in different locales. Tools shape practices. Dominant discourse shapes practices. histories and stories about the past will impact on enhancement initiatives in the present (Trowler, 2010: 5)

18 Policy Tools (Bleikle, 2002 via Trowler) Authority tools Incentive tools Capacity tools Symbolic or hortatory tools Learning tools But alert to insights of social practices theory – contextualisation, differential reception.

19 Bradford Experience Multiple instruments, multiple potential points of engagement. Expect, embrace and promote local contextualisation. Appeal to values so that locally contextualised change can still be conceived as part of whole institutional change. So whole change is indeed the sum of many local parts, and more.

20 Have we been successful ? Criteria for success ? What has worked well, best ? What would we do differently ? What happens next ?


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