March 5, 2023 11:23 am
Christina Lengyel,Louise St-Denis
Billie Jane Hermosura
Integrating leadership into curricula: Five strategies to bring leadership development into dietetic education
Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors
B. J. Hermosura, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
The role of the educator is important in informing, designing, and delivering the program. In dietetics, leadership has been integrated into new education and practice competency domain: Management and Leadership. The available research on dietitians’ leadership suggests that leadership is essential for dietetic practice however, there are limited strategies on how to integrate leadership into dietetic curricula.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
As part of a multi-faceted doctoral study, dietetic educators identified potential strategies to integrate leadership into their programs.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
Three focus group interviews with dietetic educators were held. There were three educators in each focus group interview (n=9) representing eight Canadian dietetic programs. Each interview was 90-minutes and held online. Educators were presented with preliminary findings from the broader study and invited to comment. One question asked during the semi-structured interview was, “In what ways might dietetic educators integrate leadership training or experience in their programs?” The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was conducted to create codes and identify themes.
Dietetic educators appreciated the opportunity to talk about leadership in their programs. Five strategies to bring leadership development into dietetic education were suggested by the educators: 1) Clarify the Management and Leadership domain; 2) Create a safe space for “failure”; 3) Shift the professional culture in dietetic programs towards greater collaboration; 4) Offer curricular activities and experiences focused on leadership through the dietetic programs; and 5) Curate relevant tools and resources that dietetic educators can integrate leadership into their courses.
Dietetic educators offered strategies to support their practice in developing leadership skills in trainees. Teasing apart leadership from management competencies was considered essential. Educators recognized their role to support leadership development of dietetic students and interns.
Significance to Dietetics
By implementing these strategies, elements of leadership are being cultivated among future dietitians.
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