Review of Indigenous Health Curriculum in Nutrition and Dietetics at One Australian University: An Action Research Study
Thomas, Jolene Marie
Miller, Michelle Deanne
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This article describes a review undertaken in 2012–2013 by Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, to assess the Indigenous health curriculum of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (BND) and Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics (MND). An action research framework was used to guide and inform inquiry. This involved four stages, each of which provided information to reach a final decision about how to progress forward. First, relevant information was collected to present to stakeholders. This included identification of acknowledged curriculum frameworks, a review of other accredited nutrition and dietetics courses in Australia, a review of Indigenous health topics at Flinders University, including liaison with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Well-Being (Indigenous health teaching and research unit), and a review of BND and MND current curriculum related to Indigenous health. Second, input was sought from stakeholders. This involved a workshop with practising dietitians and nutritionists from South Australia and the Northern Territory and discussions with Flinders University Nutrition and Dietetics academic staff. Third, a new curriculum was developed. Nine areas were identified for this curriculum, including reflexivity, approach and role, history and health status, worldview, beliefs and values, systems and structures, relationship building and communication, food and food choice, appreciating and understanding diversity, and nutrition issues and health status. Fourth, a final outcome was achieved, which was the decision to introduce a core, semester-long Indigenous health topic for BND students. A secondary outcome was strengthening of Indigenous health teaching across the BND and MND. The process and findings will be useful to other university courses looking to assess and expand their Indigenous health curriculum.
This article has been published in a revised form in Australian Journal of Indigenous Education https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2015.4. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. ©The Author(s) 2015.