A case study of the implementation of a curricular innovation in autonomous physical therapy clinical departments
Carter, Joan Marguerite
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A modified normative re-educative and intersystems model for planned change was used as the theoretical basis for this study of factors related to implementation of curricular innovation. The main question addressed by this study was, "How do you bring about desired change in external autonomous organizations?" The sample consisted of two groups of second year physical therapy students enrolled in the School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan. Each of the students completed a questionnaire dealing with their perceptions of clinical practice following implementation of a structured teaching program in participating clinical departments of three hospitals. The data obtained by the questionnaires were analyzed by using one-way and two-way analyses of variance techniques and the accompanying Scheffé test. The one variable which accounted for the greatest amount of curriculum implementation was in-service training delivered by an internal change agent located within her own organization. This study also provided evidence that the innovativeness of a modern or traditional organization may well be a factor related to the rate of adoption and account for the varying degrees of implementation attributed to the change agent's efforts. The present study also led to the conclusion that student levels of confidence were directly proportional to the degree of implementation. It had been expected that there would be a significant relationship between gatekeeper and operant agreement, collaborative efforts in curriculum development and distribution of the curriculum.