Exploring Capacity Building of Ontario Dental Hygiene Educators During National Curriculum Reform
In times of educational change, educators are given the task of implementing new initiatives that meet the needs of a changing environment; yet, they are often dismissed from developmental phases of the reform. This top-down structure deters educators’ personal capacity building as their knowledge, values, assumptions, and beliefs are not acknowledged or explicitly developed as part of the initiative. This study explored Ontario dental hygiene educators’ perspectives of how they may build personal capacity during an externally mandated national curriculum reform, the Entry-to-Practice Competencies and Standards for Canadian Dental Hygienists (National Competencies). Narratives were collected from 5 dental hygiene educators of diverse educational training and teaching organizations. Three themes emerged that included perceptions of structural influence, perceptions of learning access, and perceptions of identity. Each theme was linked to tasks that were required to build personal capacity for sustainable school change. The theoretical framework and the required tasks demonstrated the interconnectedness between educators, leaders, and the organization for building educators’ personal capacity.