gms | German Medical Science

16. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre: Curriculum planning and assessment

19. - 21. April 2012, Timisoara, Romania

Curriculum design: The "English garden" model


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  • corresponding author Valentin Muntean - "Iuliu Hatieganu" University of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

16. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre 2012 - Curriculum planning and assessment. Timisoara, Romania, 19.-21.04.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12grako29

doi: 10.3205/12grako29, urn:nbn:de:0183-12grako298

Veröffentlicht: 5. September 2012

© 2012 Muntean.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Background/rationale: Classic English cottage garden evoke a natural feeling, looking as if no planning was necessary to create their beauty.

What was done: When designing an English garden three steps should be followed. The first step is to select three to four main colors to create continuity within the garden. The three main longitudinal themes of curriculum are basic sciences, clinical skills and clinical presentations / examination objectives. Although free flowing, English gardens do need a certain amount of structure. The structure of curriculum is provided by the study guides, the personal learning plans, the learning portfolios, mentoring and peer review. A third important ingredient in an English garden is the "accessories" or in other words, the structures or the "whimsy": a gate, a bench or a water feature. In this model of curriculum the "accessories" are provided by the authentic activity in the communities of practice the learner is exposed during the training period.

Conclusions: The "English garden" model for curriculum design refers to the active involvement of learners in authentic activities within specific communities of practice, and is based on our cultural background and available teaching staff and infrastructure.

Take-home messages: The "English garden" model of curriculum is grounded on the theories of cognitive apprenticeship and situated learning.