A Call to Modern Curriculum Reform
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2020) – The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) continues to make strides to keep education current amid a continually changing world. As medications and diseases evolve, it remains paramount that future healthcare providers remain informed of current practices and therapies. In response to the current pandemic, the college recently announced a summer course in Contemporary Topics in Global Health: A Comparison of Country Responses to COVID-19.
Frank Romanelli, PharmD, MPH, writes in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education to urge educational systems to periodically engage in reviews of classroom material to prevent “curricular hoarding.” Hoarders are defined as people who excessively save items that seem to have no value to other people. Unfortunately, the same principle can sometimes affect higher education, where excessive amounts of coursework are carried forward without modernization.
“As practice evolves and scientific advancements are achieved, the natural inclination for educators and administrators is to add new content to existing curricula. Often pre-existing curricula that may be outdated or no longer relevant may go unchecked, leading to excessive coursework and program completion times,” says Romanelli.
UKCOP continues to strive to remove outdated curricula as it remains current and innovative in its educational practices. The college is committed to creating an environment that allows students to learn foundational skills and apply them to modern pharmaceutical practices and patient care.
Although it can be difficult for faculty members to let go of their “curricular possessions,” Romanelli warns that faculty members and administrators must remain vigilant in avoiding curricular hoarding as it leads unnecessarily long days, full schedules, and student frustration.
The practice of regularly reviewing curriculum is essential to maintaining student success in the field, as overloading curriculum creates less “think time” for students. Romanelli says that this practice may be even more necessary with the rise of modern technology.
“To avoid and curtail curricular hoarding of material, it may be prudent to periodically engage in reviews of material assessing them for not only adherence to accreditation standards but also in terms of their on-going appropriateness and relevance to contemporary pharmacy practice. These exercises may be especially important today, given the rate of information creation and dissemination in the modern digital age.”