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Teachers' ideas versus experts' descriptions of 'the good teacher' in postgraduate medical education: implications for implementation. A qualitative study

DOI: 10.1186/1472-6920-11-42

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Recently, a new competency-based description of the good teacher was developed and introduced in all the Departments of Postgraduate Medical Education for Family Physicians in the Netherlands. We compared the views reflected in the new description with the views of teachers who were required to adopt the new framework.Qualitative study. We interviewed teachers in two Departments of Postgraduate Medical Education for Family Physicians in the Netherlands. The transcripts of the interviews were analysed independently by two researchers, who coded and categorised relevant fragments until consensus was reached on six themes. We investigated to what extent these themes matched the new description.Comparing the teachers' views with the concepts described in the new competency-based framework is like looking into two mirrors that reflect clearly dissimilar images. At least two of the themes we found are important in relation to the implementation of new educational methods: the teachers' identification and organisational culture. The latter plays an important role in the development of teachers' ideas about good teaching.The main finding of this study is the key role played by the teachers' feelings regarding their professional identity and by the local teaching culture in shaping teachers' views and expectations regarding their work. This suggests that in implementing a new teaching framework and in faculty development programmes, careful attention should be paid to teachers' existing identification model and the culture that fostered it.In times of change in medical education, teachers are often asked to adapt to a new concept of what being a good teacher includes [1,2]. These new concepts represent what is considered to be best educational practice and are often developed by experts outside the departments where the changes are to be implemented. The concepts are based on an analysis of the teachers' tasks and/or educational theory and operationalized in competency profi

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