Stepping on the ladder of integration: perspectives of foundational science teachers at a medical school on a discipline-based curriculum

  • G.O. Omoniyi-Esan
  • E. Archer
  • I. Meyer


Objective: This study explored the perspectives of foundational science teachers on the integration of courses within a discipline-based curriculum.
Design: A qualitative enquiry based on an interpretive paradigm framework. Data were obtained through three focus group discussions conducted among the teachers from the departments of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the institution. The transcript data obtained were analysed using the process of thematic analysis.
Setting: The study was conducted in the College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, (CHS, OAU) Nigeria.
Participants: All twenty-six foundational science teachers were invited to participate in the discussion, but only twenty-one participated in the study.
Result: The perspectives of the foundational teachers were grouped into four themes upon agreement by the authors. The themes were: (1) knowledge of integration, (2) perception of the need for and benefits of integration, (3) enablers and barriers to integration, and (4) suggestions. Participants believed integration was necessary to foster a better understanding of courses and would encourage interdisciplinary teaching. They also believed integration would reduce curriculum overload in basic medical science courses. Several logistic issues were perceived as barriers.
Conclusion: This study revealed that the teachers support the integration of courses in the curriculum to enhance teaching while encouraging students’ participation and understanding. Full understanding and commitment of teachers are necessary for the effective integration of the curriculum. Institutional and infrastructural support is required for the success of such a proposed curriculum.


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eISSN: 0012-835X