Managing care and joined up thinking in the curriculum

Seden, Janet; Reynolds, Jill; Henderson, Jeanette and Kubiak, Chris (2005). Managing care and joined up thinking in the curriculum. Social Work Education, 24(8) pp. 841–856.



This paper discusses the curriculum development of a level three undergraduate course in managing care. It was produced and is presented by The Open University. The course is aimed at frontline managers in health and social care. The course team made consultation with service users, carers and managers a priority in developing the curriculum. The paper discusses this consultation process and the learning gained from it. A major contribution was to clarify debates about how far the course should have one core curriculum and how far it should offer specialist options for managers in different settings. Service users and carers had strong views on the need for better co-ordination of services and recognition of individual needs rather than divisions into service-led categories. Managers stressed the importance of reflecting the reality of frontline management. This helped the course team to develop a framework that stresses the commonality in the work and the importance of 'practice-led' management. Service users and managers were involved as critical readers of course texts to ensure that the consultation process continued through the course development. A second strand is the need for the course to be accessible to those not yet in management positions, and extracts from an interactive CD-ROM which presents case study material demonstrate the innovative joined up and accessible approach taken to student learning needs.

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