Incorporating Paraprofessional Educators’ Perspectives into the Curriculum Revision Process for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
Focus groups were convened with 29 paraprofessional educators from two land grant universities (LGUs) to document their experiences delivering an adult nutrition education curriculum through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and to solicit their suggestions for curriculum improvement. Emergent themes indicated that paraprofessional educators desired greater flexibility in curriculum delivery, more activities that employ active learning, and simplification of curriculum content. Educators also expressed concerns regarding professional competence, perceptions of contradictory information within the curriculum, and a disconnect between program leaders’ expectations and the realities of program delivery in the community setting. Findings highlight benefits of including educators in curriculum development and revision processes and support the development of future studies to investigate ways to incorporate more flexibility into curricula without compromising core content. Findings also support the need for additional studies that assess whether food-based recommendations rather than nutrient-based recommendations could improve outcomes in EFNEP and other health and nutrition education programs.