Pedagogical practices of lecturers in pharmacy education.
The roles and responsibilities of pharmacists have evolved to become more clinical and professional which has implications for pharmacy education and academics’ pedagogical practices. This study explores the pedagogical practices of academics across the undergraduate pharmacy curricula at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), observing, exploring and describing practices with the aim of understanding the rationale for their use. Pedagogical practices are shaped by influences emanating within and beyond pharmacy education at UKZN, from regulatory boards to chalk boards, with the emphasis on the latter in this study. This qualitative research, viewed through the lense of social realism and interpretivism, focuses on pedagogical practices within the pharmacy majors: pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmacy care. The study reveals pedagogical similarities and differences amongst and between pharmacy majors and academic years of study and how disciplines, content, knowledge, skills, competencies, values, personal attributes and the profession are inextricably linked. Case-based learning (CBL) is used within several third and fourth year pharmacy majors, and a move towards integration and interprofessional learning (IPL) also emerges. This research contributes to an understanding of pharmacy academics’ practices within a developing context, exploring the underlying structure of pharmacy knowledge, curricula, teaching approaches and strategies and assessment. Pharmacy academics play a crucial role in the process of developing students through education and training to become professional pharmacists and are therefore the focus of this enquiry. Future research endeavours can explore the structure, sequencing and integration of interdisciplinary knowledge and pedagogical approaches, expanding and deepening the understanding of academics’ pedagogical practices within professional curricula.