Midwifery participatory curriculum development: Transformation through active partnership

Mary Sidebotham, Caroline Walters, Janine Chipperfield, Jenny Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Evolving knowledge and professional practice combined with advances in pedagogy and learning technology create challenges for accredited professional programs. Internationally a sparsity of literature exists around curriculum development for professional programs responsive to regulatory and societal drivers. This paper evaluates a participatory curriculum development framework, adapted from the community development sector, to determine its applicability to promote engagement and ownership during the development of a Bachelor of Midwifery curriculum at an Australian University. The structures, processes and resulting curriculum development framework are described. A representative sample of key curriculum development team members were interviewed in relation to their participation. Qualitative analysis of transcribed interviews occurred through inductive, essentialist thematic analysis. Two main themes emerged: (1) ‘it is a transformative journey’ and (2) focused ‘partnership in action’. Results confirmed the participatory curriculum development process provides symbiotic benefits to participants leading to individual and organisational growth and the perception of a shared curriculum. A final operational model using a participatory curriculum development process to guide the development of accredited health programs emerged. The model provides an appropriate structure to create meaningful collaboration with multiple stakeholders to produce a curriculum that is contemporary, underpinned by evidence and reflective of ‘real world’ practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date15 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Industry partnership
  • Participatory curriculum development
  • Transformative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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