The New Curriculum Model: Review of knowledge building in action at the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences
Sydney Redpath, Suzanne Allaire & Ann Russell, The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences, Canada
Michener is dedicated to educating health professionals in a variety of applied health science programs including Respiratory Therapy, Medical Laboratory Science, Ultrasound, Chiropody, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy and Radiological Technology. Serving approximately 1,000 full time students and 4,000 part-time continuing education students, Michener launched the first iteration of a new curriculum model (NCM) in 2003. In this symposium, participants will learn how the NCM, a macro-level organizational strategy, supported a major organization-wide transformation to support scaling up from a knowledge telling to a knowledge building organization. Participants will also learn about professional development strategies used over the past few years to cultivate faculty’s dual identity as both discipline specific experts as well as educators committed to the scholarship of teaching and learning. This symposium explores the challenges and opportunities of cultivating knowledge building social practices at the workplace by reviewing how the NCM was designed, implemented and launched. Results of this 5-year longitudinal design research project will be presented. Highlights of analyses include 1) shift from didactic faculty development sessions to self-organizing faculty-designed and led sessions; 2) shift from discipline specific to interprofessional collaborative practice; 3) cultivation of social practices, tools and resources to support knowledge building; 4) situating innovation in a communal context and fostering shared ownership for continual improvement. Finally, we explore the opportunities of treating both curriculum and faculty development as conceptual artifacts and present some innovative technological solutions such as a dynamic Curriculum Bank. We conclude that the greatest opportunity and obstacle facing health care education in the 21st century is what Bereiter and Scardamalia have identified as the “ability to work productively with three worlds of knowledge” – and in our specific context, to cultivate collective cognitive responsibility for curriculum and faculty development. Discussion will focus on strategies to embed progressive inquiry into continuous professional development, curricular design and scholarship to realize 21st century “best experience, best education” to achieve movement from “default to design”.