By Dent, John A.; Harden, Ronald M.
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Extra resources for A practical guide for medical teachers
NUTS AND BOLTS OF THE POSTGRADUATE CURRICULUM Features of a postgraduate training include the following: • a progressive syllabus that has both formal and informal elements • a recognized trainer and training unit • proactive supervision • balance of clinical duties and educational activities • protected time for education • defined exit outcomes. There has been a marked improvement in provision by the relevant bodies of structured syllabi for most postgraduate medical diploma or degree courses.
Failure to keep staff and students informed about the curriculum is a common recipe for failure. Communication can be improved by providing students with: • a clear statement of the learning outcomes expected at each stage of the curriculum • a curriculum map which matches the learning outcomes to the learning experiences and the assessment • an electronic or print-based study guide which helps the students to manage their learning and make the best use of their time. 13 PROMOTING AN APPROPRIATE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT The educational environment or ‘climate’ is a key aspect of the curriculum (Genn 2001).
For this reason, there has been a move towards centralization of curriculum planning with a single body being responsible for the final product, albeit in consultation with the relevant discipline experts. Centralized curriculum planning can lead to the disengagement of most teachers, who may feel that what they are being asked to teach conveys at best an inadequate, and at worst an inaccurate, picture of their discipline. It is important that the teachers who are to deliver the curriculum should feel that they have a stake in it.