Exploring unplanned curriculum drift

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Woods, A 2015, 'Exploring unplanned curriculum drift', Journal of Nursing Education, vol. 54, no. 11, pp.641-644.

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Background: This study explored the opportunities for quality enhancement in teaching and learning by examining unplanned curriculum drift in an undergraduate nursing course. Curriculum drift is defined here as a process whereby the learning experiences associated with a curriculum do not match the specific syllabus, vision, or intentions associated with attaining desired outcomes for nursing students.
Method: Staff involved in the implementation of a new innovative Bachelor of Nursing curriculum at an Australian regional university were surveyed to explore their perceptions and knowledge of key philosophical and pedagogical concepts associated with a planned curriculum. A constructivist case study approach was used to explore curriculum drift.
Results: Survey responses revealed that staff actions were inconsistent with their interpretations of concepts underlying the proposed curriculum.
Conclusion: It is proposed that the discrepancy is a contributing factor in curricular drift, where the potential to achieve desired learning outcomes associated with innovative curricula is compromised by a drift to preinnovative or unplanned states.

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