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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-3

Change has become a necessity: Curricular reforms and change management is what we need

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vasanti Lagali-Jirge
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research, Belagavi - 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaomr.jiaomr_199_18

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How to cite this article:
Lagali-Jirge V. Change has become a necessity: Curricular reforms and change management is what we need. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2019;31:2-3

How to cite this URL:
Lagali-Jirge V. Change has become a necessity: Curricular reforms and change management is what we need. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Dec 7];31:2-3. Available from: http://www.jiaomr.in/text.asp?2019/31/1/2/256897

Dental education in India is in a state of flux. We need to usher in reforms. It is an undeniable fact that dentistry is gradually losing its charm, as evidenced by reduction in takers for seats in undergraduate and postgraduate Oral Medicine and Radiology courses. The world of dental education has changed tremendously across the globe. Change requires concerted and well planned efforts and has to be supported by all stakeholders.

Curricular reforms work well when the Kern's six step approach[1] [Figure 1] is used as the conceptual framework for change. Kern's framework is an evidence-based method for curricular reforms.
Figure 1: Kern's curriculum development framework

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It begins with needs assessment: The need may be a health problem, a new educational method, or a new assessment method. Needs assessment can be performed by surveys, focused group discussions, and also reports of previous performance-, e.g., marks from previous examinations. Any reform has to go through the six steps and be vetted by an educational committee. Once the problem has been identified, we identify targeted learners. For the reform process, targeted learners are usually students but it also includes teaching faculty and on occasion the support staff. For example, if we want to introduce training in biopsy for undergraduates, they will be the primary targeted learners. Teachers will have to be trained in instruction and assessment. So, we have two groups of targeted learners. If the reform process involves support staff such as nurses, then they will also have to undergo training.

Once the targeted learners have been identified, goals and objectives have to be framed to prepare the blueprint for the program. This also requires training. The process of framing learning objectives is a simple procedure, but if done incorrectly can have disastrous results. Learning objectives provide a guide to learning outcomes, and methods of instruction and assessment that need to be employed for successful outcomes. After framing objectives, educational strategies are chosen – this includes methods of instruction (for theory and practical/clinical) and assessment. Resources required have to be taken into account. This would include infrastructure, teaching and learning resources, tutor guides, teaching material, student guides, and timetable scheduling. Once the plan is ready, it is implemented.

Program evaluation is a necessary step to close the loop. Feedback has to be taken from faculty and students for program evaluation. Students' performance records are also required for program evaluation. The results of the evaluation process are used for analysis and to modify and strengthen the program. During this process, a realistic timeframe will be required.

All dental colleges will require trained faculty in health professions education. Some of these trained teachers have to form a core group. This department of dental education will oversee programs related to education-instruction and assessment, scholarship, faculty development, and service for improving programs.

   Change Management Top

Change should be seen as an opportunity to depart from redundancy. Albeit the thought of being displaced from one's comfort zone is unsettling, it should be seen as an opening. During the process of introducing change, policy makers should consult change management professionals to make the process successful and see the light of the day. Knowledge of change management is not just the prerogative of corporate offices. Any organization with many employees that has hierarchy in employment is a business. Therefore, as members of such a hierarchy, dental college teachers also have to be sensitized to change management. There are many tested models of change and most of them have similar themes. The Kotter's model of change management[2] [Figure 2] is an elaborately described model and has been extensively researched in many business organizations for successful change management.
Figure 2: Kotter's eight step change management model

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The time has come to embrace change and revamp the way we do things in Oral Medicine and Radiology – for the students, for faculty, for the society, and for the greater good. We need to earn our place among the global giants or become obsolete. So there are two questions for the reader. 1. There is a wealth in information if we want to adopt reforms – The question is when are we starting? 2. And where do we stand in the big scheme of things.

   References Top

Kern DE, Thomas PA, Hughes MT, eds. Curriculum Development for Medical Education: A Six-Step Approach. 2nd ed. Baltimore (MD): Johns Hopkins University Press; 2009.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kotter J. 8 step process to accelerate change ebook. Available from: https://www.kotterinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/8-Steps-eBook-Kotter-2018.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Dec 04].  Back to cited text no. 2


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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