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Educator Readiness to Improve Gerontological Curricula in Health and Social Service Education*

  • Lynn McCleary (a1), Veronique Boscart (a2), Peter Donahue (a3) and Kelsey Harvey (a4)


This study investigated the state of gerontology content in health and social service education programs in Ontario, and readiness indicators for change among administrators and faculty. We conducted a survey of teaching faculty (n = 100) and deans or directors (n = 56) of 89 education programs, which revealed mixed evidence on readiness for change. Most respondents thought their programs were adequate but needed enhancement. However, they were unaware of published gerontological competencies with which to evaluate their curricula. Beliefs about capacity for change varied, with half the participants indicating that their programs had sufficient faculty expertise in gerontology and geriatrics. Factors influencing readiness for change include lack of gerontological expertise; need for institutional and management support; need for additional teaching resources; and recognizing the need for change. There is an opportunity, by committing resources and time, to capitalize on the faculty and administrators who thought their programs should improve.

Cette étude visait à évaluer le contenu actuel de la formation en santé et services sociaux dans les programmes ontariens (au Canada) en gérontologie, et les indicateurs de réceptivité au changement chez les administrateurs et dans les facultés. Un sondage a été réalisé chez les professeurs universitaires (n = 100) et chez les doyens ou directeurs (n = 56) de 89 programmes de formation. Les résultats sont mitigés concernant la réceptivité au changement. La plupart des répondants considéraient que les programmes étaient adéquats, mais qu’ils avaient besoin d’être améliorés. Cependant, ils n’étaient pas au courant des publications concernant les compétences en gérontologie qui leur permettraient d’évaluer leurs programmes. Les croyances associées à la l’aptitude au changement étaient variables ; près de la moitié des participants ont indiqué que leurs programmes faisaient appel à un corps professoral possédant une expertise suffisante en gérontologie et gériatrie. Certains facteurs contextuels ont pu influencer la réceptivité au changement dans cette étude : manque d’expertise en gérontologie, besoins associés au soutien institutionnel et administratif, besoins additionnels liés aux ressources pédagogiques, attitudes envers le changement et reconnaissance de la nécessité de changer les programmes de formation. On note cependant une opportunité associée à la forte proportion de professeurs et d’administrateurs qui pensent que leurs programmes devraient être améliorés. L’allocation de ressources et du temps nécessaires au développement des capacités, ainsi qu’à l’évaluation et à la modification du curriculum permettraient de concrétiser cette opportunité.


Corresponding author

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés à part doivent être adressées à : Lynn McCleary, Ph.D. Department of Nursing Brock University 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1 <>


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We thank Alex Scordas and Kelsea Levesque for assistance with data collection. The research was funded by the Council of Ontario Universities and the Government of Ontario. The views presented in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Council of Ontario Universities or the Province of Ontario.



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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
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