Mandy Lowe (Toronto Rehab, UHN and University of Toronto); Debbie Hebert (Toronto Rehab, UHN and University of Toronto); Mary Stergiou-Kita (St John’s Rehab and University of Toronto)
Although there are many approaches to curriculum design, a paucity of curriculum design research is evident with few firsthand accounts of the experiences in developing, implementing and evaluating a new curriculum, particularly in the area of continuing professional development. We set out to learn from and systematically analyze our own team’s longitudinal curriculum design experiences in order to identify key elements of curriculum design processes.
Cooperative inquiry (a type of action research) guided our method as we sought new ways to systematically explore and develop our practice as curriculum designers. Focus groups held with the three authors/curriculum designers were transcribed and analyzed by the authors collectively.
Results and Conclusions
Building on our findings, we developed a framework that includes both the more traditional elements of curriculum design and the elements that enabled a flexible approach to curriculum design through reflective dialogue and an intention to apply the learning from experience. Four elements core to curriculum design experiences emerged including: alignment of needs, intentional use of educational approaches, curriculum designer processes and collective reflection. Curriculum developers could consider incorporating practices associated with these core elements into their own curriculum designer group processes.