Factors influencing radiography lecturers’ perceptions and understanding of reflective practice in a newly implemented curriculum
Background. Reflective practice has become an integral component of the new Bachelor of Science (BSc) radiography programme in South Africa (SA). As a result, lecturers on the programme are required to facilitate reflective learning, and are assumed to be skilled in this. However, relevant literature indicates that health professions educators may not necessarily possess the requisite competence or experience in facilitating reflective learning. Moreover, there is a paucity in the literature on lecturers’ perceptions and understanding of reflective practice in the context of undergraduate radiography curricula, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Objective. To gain insight into BSc radiography lecturers’ perceptions and understanding of reflective practice at a selected university of technology in SA.
Methods. This was a qualitative exploratory study in which individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with lecturers teaching on the new BSc Radiography programme. The purposively selected sample consisted of 11 participants. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.
Results. Analysis of the data revealed three themes, namely diverse understandings of reflective practice among lecturers, factors influencing optimal facilitation of reflective learning and strategies to improve reflective practice.
Conclusion. The findings of this study indicated that lecturers felt unprepared to facilitate reflective practice in the new BSc radiography curriculum. The need for faculty development initiatives, such as an introduction to reflective tools and educational strategies to support lecturers in facilitating reflective practice, was highlighted. Furthermore, it was found that if objectives were clearly outlined and facilitator guides available, a desired reflective practice could be established
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