Action research to implement an Indigenous health curriculum framework

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11 Citations (Scopus)


In recent decades Indigenous health curriculum frameworks have been developed, however, few studies about their implementation exist. This study aimed to employ critical theory and action research to understand how an Indigenous health curriculum framework could be applied and associated learning and teaching iteratively improved. Three action research cycles where conducted from 2017 to 2019. Student reaction (satisfaction and engagement) was collected via survey 2017–2019. Student learning was collated 2018–2019 via self-perception survey (knowledge, attitude, confidence, commitment); multi-choice questions (knowledge) and; content analysis of apply and analyse activities (skill). The teaching team met annually to reflect on findings and plan enhancements to learning and teaching. Over 2017–2019 there was a pattern of improved student reaction and learning. Connecting this research to Faculty level committees led to widening success and improved sustainability of the practice. The online unit and workshop delivery were scalable, overcame a barrier of educator skill and confidence to teach this area, allowed for quality content control and provided data for analysis. Interestingly, learning gained from this unit matched that described as occurring from student placements in health settings with high numbers of Indigenous people. Student learning occurred across the Framework three levels (novice, intermediate and entry to practice) suggesting that the taxonomy of the Framework does not necessarily align with the reality of learning and teaching. Vertical implementation of the five learning domains would benefit from alignment with training evaluation models and validated assessment to understand learning that has occurred rather than the teaching that has been taught. In this study health profession accreditation bodies had driven the imperative for an Indigenous health program and curriculum. Research on Indigenous health learning and teaching relating to behaviour and results in workplaces is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104464
Number of pages11
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

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