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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Medical educators’ experience of anticipated curricular change to case/problem-based learning and its relationship to identity and role as teacher Dharamsi, Shafik


Little is known about medical educators' experience of curricular change to problem-based learning and its relationship to identity and role as teacher. The adoption of novel approaches to teaching and learning in medical education requires educators to consider a significantly different role and responsibilities as teacher. This possibly will require substantial changes in ways of thinking about education. Those involved in such curricular reform are challenged to understand better how complex interactional processes and epistemological positions affect educators involved in change. This study used a phenomenographic research approach to explore and describe how the phenomenon of the experience of curricular change is interpreted by those who teach within one curriculum and are being moved to another. Essentially, the aim was to determine where a sampling of ten medical educators are in the position of curricular change and how they are trying to find their identity and role within it. Findings present how the educators experienced, explained and dealt with change, and how they framed their experience and made sense of it. As such, this study found how at times participants resisted change, how they supported it, and shifted ground within it. The educators' interpretations of curricular change and understanding of identity and role as teacher were facilitated by and dependent upon their criterion for judging the legitimacy of change. In articulating their thoughts, participants focused their discussions on issues of effectiveness. The term effectiveness was classified as a theme from which emerged the following categories: (1) beliefs about teaching, learning and evaluation; (2) the perceived time cornmitments required to plan, implement and sustain the new curriculum; and (3) administrative and political influences effecting curricular change. These were the three different, yet interlinked categories or influences that mediated the educators' responses to the different situations within the phenomenon of curricular change.

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