Thursday, October 10, 2019

Principles of Education

Theoretical and practical teaching and learning are the fundamental aspects of education. Since the early 20th century, education has been an essential part of nursing (Bastable 2008). Nurse educators encounter a diversity of learning styles and are challenged when needed to develop and adapt their teaching methods to accommodate students learning (Arthurs 2007). Mentors have a responsibility to assist the student within practice, building upon the students level of training (Kinnell and Hughes 2010). This essay will discuss the importance of the nurses role in relation to teaching both students and patients and will critically evaluate the literature used to build a lesson plan (Appendix 2) whilst discussing the process of learning and teaching. An important role of the nurse since the mid-1800s has been the responsibility of teaching. Educating other nurses for professional practice and promoting health were included. Florence Nightingale, the ultimate educator, influenced the nurse’s role to include educating families, patients and colleagues (Glanville 2000). Tilley et al (2006), states that by the 1900s the importance of the nurse as teacher was understood as preventing disease and promoting health. The National Midwifery Council (NMC) has for years put forth statements on the functions, standards, and qualifications for nursing practice. Patient teaching and the nurse’s role as educator to colleagues and student nurses are key elements (NMC 2002). Obtaining formal preparation in the principles of teaching and learning is an important part as there is much knowledge and skill to be acquired as educator with efficiency and effectiveness. A learner cannot be made to learn, but an effective approach in educating others is to actively involve learners in the education process. † (Bodenheimer et al. 2002 cited in Bastable 2008: 13). By working as a team a partnership philosophy should allow the nurse’s role as teacher of patients, families and students to be obtainable. A growing body of evidence suggests that effective education and learner participation go hand in hand. The nurse should act as a facilitator, creating an environment conducive to learning that motivates individuals to want to learn (Arthurs 007). Nurse educators encounter a variety of learning styles when faced with prospective nurses. Nursing students will have a variable age group with younger students possibly unaware of their learning styles as well as mature students who may be rooted in one way of learning (Arthurs 2007). Nursing education being primarily clinically focused results in limited knowledge of teaching strategies causing challenges for the nurse educator, this mix can lead to student and teacher frustration with poor academic performance among nursing students. Dunn and Griggs (2000) argue that teaching styles more closely aligned to a variety of adult learners will promote retention and application of new knowledge, these factors were taken into account when designing appendix 2. Blooms Taxonomy (1956 cited in Moseley et al. 2005: 102) is a system that describes, identifies and classifies three domains of learning – cognitive, affective and psychomotor. These domains are used for the development of instructional objectives and learning outcomes (Appendix 1), the first steps in the development of appendix 2. These steps identify what is expected as a result of the students learning experience (Connolly and DeYoung 2004). Airasian (2001) argues that objectives limit the learning experience and does not expose the student to further their knowledge. Gronlund (2000) explains that the need to clearly communicate the teacher’s expectations to the students, specifying what a student should know and be able to do at the end of the session is the most important part. These points guided the learning objectives of appendix 1 aiming to allow the student to strive to achieve their own personal best in order to enhance the learning experience. Reece and Walker (2000) believed that a lesson plan is designed to help teachers proceed with a lesson logically. Can every possibility be provided for? Surely a lesson plan has to be tentative and accommodating allowing substitute teachers to follow if necessary. Therefore it is only a step by step guide with estimation of time, questioning and probability, however needs to retain adequate content in order to be followed and understood. Fleming and Mill’s learning framework typology (Nilson 2003) reflects learning in a physical sense of visual, auditory, read/write and kinaesthetic preferences. Visual learners rely upon sight for their learning needs, such as presentations, diagrams and pictures with the use of colour to enhance knowledge retention (Susskind 2005). Nilson (2003) explains that the auditory learner prefers information to be explained and benefit from verbal presentations such as lectures and discussions. Students with preference of reading or writing benefit from well-structured textbooks in order to understand new information. In contrast to this type of learning the kinaesthetic learner usually has excellent eye-hand-mind coordination valuing practical information with active involvement (Nilson 2003). The lesson plan of Appendix 2 is structured to accommodate varied learning styles and planned towards delivering a variety of teaching strategies helping the student retain and learn. The wide range of learning styles represented in a large group of nursing students makes a single type teaching strategy ineffective for some of the class (Arthurs 2007). Appendix 2 allows for Visual learning through the use of diagrams and direct observation of role play, Auditory learning by a power point presentation and discussion on own experiences, Reading/Writing learners gain from the use of hand outs with limited information encouraging further reading as well as a textbook style informative diagram with rational. Kinesthetic learning is accommodated by the use of a practical section for the clinical skill. Nilson (2003) distinguished that individuals only retain 10-20% of what they hear, by including visual material to the presentation this can increase by 50%. Speaking involves active cognition as well as hearing and can increase recall to 80%, by combining speaking and applied methods retention increases to 90%. Producing a lesson plan to teach in auditory, visual and experimental modes is important, increasing the successfulness of a session by allowing individuals a variety of learning styles enhancing the storage of the material to 97% (Knowels, Holton III and Swanson 2008). Learning to accommodate a range of learning styles will improve retention of intricate information for both student and patient (Arthurs 2007). However this could be argued that this is time intensive to design. Time is a premium for the nurse, it may be unrealistic to have time to design lesson plans that accommodate all learning styles present in large classes, Appendix 2 is applicable to a small class of 10-12 students, and would not work in a large lecture theatre of over 100 due to the structure. Information may only be taught through lectures due to time constraints requiring the student to further the topic at home. It is therefore imperative that the environment, and number of students is assessed in onjunction with a lesson plan otherwise these variables could result in an unsuccessful teaching session. When teaching a patient, the approach will change, however styles will remain similar. A patient will always learn best from a one to one short session that is informative with use of written sources such leaflets allowing the information to be kept by the patient for further reference. Hands on or observation experi ence is also an excellent form to teach a patient (Quinn 2000). The success of a one to one session with a patient or family relative will rely deeply on interpersonal skills. The pace of the teaching has to be judged carefully to ensure that the patient is keeping up, and the atmosphere needs to be informal and relaxed. Factors that might affect patients or students' ability and readiness to learn could include physical issues, psychological or emotional issues, and difficulties with cognition or the environment. Appendix 3 identifies a range of common expectations that are appropriate to nurse education students and contrasts these with a patient. There will be variations within the two learners, however the information will be valid for both. It is designed to ensure that nurse educators clearly understand the importance of assumptions towards learners (Quinn 2000). In reference to Appendix 4 different teaching methods would be used to manage the learning styles required by the patient and that of the student. Mrs Helen would need a substantial about of teaching and guidance in order to continue with her oral care and understand the importance of oral hygiene (Rosdahl and Kowalski 2008). This information would need to be informal, sensitive, and professional, working at the level of knowledge the patient comprehends, allowing Mrs Helen to understand through Visual learning with the use of leaflets and diagrams, Auditory through the giving of information and Kinesthetic through demonstration. As a mentor the nurse would teach the student through direct observation, possible contribution to the teaching of skills, followed by questioning and further research to develop the students’ knowledge (Kinnell and Hughes 2010) allowing for Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic student learning. It is important to be able to consider and address your own learning needs in order to meet the needs of others in practice. Education is an important aspect of nursing, attaining the skills required for learning and teaching something new within the profession every day is vital as research and technology is always progressing. Key differences in the ways of approaching teaching within nursing include adoption of either a nurse focused approach or a patient focused approach (Forbes 2010). Without the correct understanding of learning styles the correct teaching strategy cannot be adopted which could result in poor education, misunderstood information retained by a student which could be passed onto a patient. Adopting patient focused approaches to nursing will allow the nurse educator to adapt to the teaching style necessary for the patient, ensuing exceptional guidance, support and education. Without this educating structure within the Nursing Programme, student nurses would not be prepared for the practice setting of communication, demonstration and most importantly continual education and teaching.

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