Increasing numbers of international students studying health sciences in Australia necessitates research into appropriate ways to support cultural diversity in teaching. International students commonly face problems in adapting to culturally different education and health care systems and this complicates the development of the discipline specific skills that they have come to learn. This paper presents a curriculum review of a course, titled ‘Language and Communication in Physiotherapy’ in a Physiotherapy Masters Program for international students. The aim was to redevelop the course to better align with principles of internationalisation of the curriculum, seeking to ensure that the course did not follow a deficit model of meeting international students’ needs. A philosophical shift was considered by staff and led to a revision of course aims, content and assessment. Instead of viewing students as having ‘gaps’ in understanding or skills that needed to be patched up in order to fit Australian norms, it was considered that the chief aim of the course was to foster the development of cultural competence. Course changes made as an outcome of the review were evaluated and the outcomes suggest that some of the changes were successful, whilst others require further development. The process of reflective practice followed in undertaking this review was helpful not only in devising course content and assessment changes useful to students’ learning, but also in advancing the cultural competence of teachers involved in the course.
Recommended CitationDas, R., Internationalisation Of The Curriculum: Putting Theory Into Practice In A Physiotherapy Program, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 2(1), 2005.