Aboriginal Student Success in Health Professional Education: Culture and Beyond

By Lois E. Berry.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Increasing the number of Aboriginal health professionals in Canada and other countries is a key strategy to improve the health of Aboriginal people. However, universities that produce health professionals have not been sites of success for Aboriginal students. In addition, health care institutions reject or ignore Aboriginal views of health. Anthropological, organizational, and professional concepts of culture are lenses which help frame Aboriginal student experiences in health professional education. While Aboriginal cultural approaches to learning and health are spiritual, holistic, and experiential, Western health and education systems are based on rationalism, empiricism, and reductionism. The cultural approach is limited, however, in that it does not address power relationships, including colonialism and poverty. Critical pedagogy enhances the cultural perspective through considerations of power. It challenges policymakers to transform educational institutions in the interests of improving the success rates of Aboriginal students, and in doing so, creating a more democratic society.

Keywords: Culture, Aboriginal Culture, Organizational Culture, Professional Culture, Health Professional Education, Critical Pedagogy

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.169-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 528.992KB).

Lois E. Berry

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Her experience includes teaching and administrative positions in nursing education and senior level administrative experience in a post secondary setting. She currently serves as a member of a national acccreditation team for nursing education programs in Canada. She has held positions in professional associations at a local, provincial and national level.

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