‘It’s a different world out there’: Improving how academics prepare health science students for rural and Indigenous practice in Australia.
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This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the Higher Education Research and Development, 2013, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/07294360.2013.777035">http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/07294360.2013.777035</a>
Rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) health content in undergraduate health science curricula in Western Australia has been limited. In 2008, a three-and-a-half-day, rurally-based, intercultural and inter-disciplinary programme for academics from three universities aimed to improve how academics prepared health science students for work in this area. Situated learning theory underpinned the programme's design, which prioritised context and participation in the construction of knowledge: academics lived ‘on country’ and participated in the lived experience of a rural and Indigenous community. Semi-structured phone interviews with 21 academics four months later indicated this approach had radically changed thinking and led to a desire to improve rural and Indigenous health and teaching practice. Targeting academics to learn about rural and Indigenous health in situ is one promising strategy for improving undergraduate health science education in this priority area.
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