Extending partnership and disrupting power dynamics in Curriculum design
Staff student partnership processes and initiatives have been developed in recent years on the basis that students have valuable expertise to contribute to the design, research and development of higher education. Whilst this is becoming a well-recognised and embedded position amongst many areas of activity, there is still limited discussion around where and with whom expertise might also valuably lie when developing curricula.
In this project, initially focussed on Global Health education a curriculum development project experimented with extending the education design process to those with first-hand expertise of living and working in the contexts discussed in GH classroom who are typically absent when designing curricula. The project involved partners with lived and/or professional experience of the Syrian conflict (the subject of study) as well as alumni of the course and educators in all stages of design and delivery through to marking and project evaluation. The project experimented with disrupting power dynamics and extending ownership of the curriculum beyond traditional faculty by codesigning and codelivering module contents together with colleagues with direct expertise and experience of the Syrian context.
Whilst the value of this approach could be demonstrated in the Global Health education context, there is potential value in extending and experimenting with partnership practices in other disciplines, within medicine and beyond. The area of work seeks to explore other avenues where partnership and power is shared and distributed amongst staff, students and any others with valuable lived and professional experience that can influence and provide valuable contribution to curriculum development.
- Sbaiti, M., Streule, M.J., Alhaffar, M., Pilkington, V., Leis, M., Budhathoki, S.S., Mkhallalati, H., Omar, M., Liu, L., Golestaneh, A.K. and Abbara, A. (2021). Whose voices should shape global health education? Curriculum codesign and codelivery by people with direct expertise and lived experience. BMJ Global Health