Developing a culturally mindful curriculum and occupation specific assessment for an optometric bridging program.

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Developing a culturally mindful curriculum and occupation specific assessment for an optometric bridging program.

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Title: Developing a culturally mindful curriculum and occupation specific assessment for an optometric bridging program.
Author: Williams, Julia
Abstract: Citizenship and Immigration Canada funds bridging programs that are designed to orient foreign-trained professionals to Canadian workplaces and bridge skills gaps that may exist between foreign and Canadian certification. These programs provide pathways for professional foreign-trained immigrants to comparable professional Canadian workplace contexts. This paper reports on the implementation of a bridging program for foreigntrained optometrists. We began with a communicative-skills needs analysis of the optometric profession in a North American context, and we used that information to develop a curriculum and an occupation-specific Englishlanguage proficiency assessment. The curriculum was informed by the concept of cultural intelligence (Thomas & Inkson, 2004) which includes developing knowledge about, becoming mindful of, and adapting behaviour to support successful navigation of new cultures. To determine the impact of the curriculum, we developed the Optometric English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA), which assesses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in optometric contexts. Careful delineation and constant communication of the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment were used to situate the OELPA appropriately within the scope of the bridging program. This paper has relevance for curriculum development and workplace assessments in other professional contexts.
URI: https://uwaterloo.ca/renison/culturally-mindful-curriculum-optometry
http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/researchsymposium/ResearchSymposium2016.pdf
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11895/298
Date: 2016-05


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