Teaching Strategies for Nurse Educators

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Prentice Hall Health, 2003 - Medical - 280 pages
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This book is designed to help nurses learn how to teach. Whether they are teaching patients, staff, or students in an academic setting, nurses who are in the educator role need a theory base from which to work. They also must develop an understanding of educational issues and innovations like literacy and distance learning. They especially need to develop a wide repertoire of teaching strategies.

In my 30 years of experience as an educator and my last 4 years of teaching a teaching strategies course to graduate students, I have developed a keen appreciation of the commonalties of teaching across settings. In my graduate classes, some students are employed in staff development, some are preparing to be advanced practice nurses, some are functioning as clinical preceptors, and some aim toward a future in academia. Yet they can all give examples of how the concepts in this book are applied in their work settings.

Some of the chapters in this book apply more to one setting than another. In such cases, that fact is pointed out. For example, Chapter 6, Literacy and Readability, applies primarily to patient teaching. Chapter 12, Promoting and Assessing Critical Thinking, applies primarily to academic and staff development settings. However, even these topics apply to some degree to all forms of nursing education'.

The book is divided into three sections. Part I, Teaching and Learning, includes Chapter 1, which focuses on "good teaching." Research on evidence of good teaching and the principles for good practice in teaching are highlighted. Chapter 2 is about learning theories and concepts, with application to nursing and health education. Chapter 3 explicates how to plan and conduct classes, regardless of the setting of those classes. It includes writing objectives, selecting content and teaching methods, planning assignments, and conducting the class.

Part II, The Learner, incorporates information about patients, students, and nurses as learners. Chapter 4, written by Dr. Joanna Hayden, focuses on motivation and readiness for learning, with application of additional theories, and a discussion of the effectiveness of patient teaching. Chapter 5, authored by Dr. Kern Louie, discusses multicultural and gender aspects of learning. Chapter 6 is about literacy and readability, with focus on the impact of low literacy and the development of printed educational materials.

Part III, Teaching Strategies, covers advantages and disadvantages, purposes and uses of the methods, and research on the strategies that are discussed. Chapter 7 includes the traditional teaching strategies of lecture, discussion, questioning, and audiovisual technology. Chapter 8 highlights activity-based teaching strategies, with emphasis on collaborative learning, simulations, games, case studies, problem-based learning, and self-learning modules. Chapter 9 is about computer teaching strategies, including virtual reality. Chapter 10 explains what distance learning is and how it is expanding in all settings today. Chapter 11 discusses how to teach psychomotor skills. Chapter 12, authored by Dr. Terry Valiga, focuses on promoting critical thinking and includes evaluating and measuring critical thinking. Chapter 13 sets forth principles and practices of clinical teaching, including precepting. Finally, Chapter 14 is about assessing and, evaluating learning.

Each chapter includesthree featuresthat are useful as teaching strategies in themselves. They are:

  • Case Study.The case applies the information in the chapter and gives the students an opportunity to actively manipulate some of the chapter content. Students will learn the information better if they can apply it to a real-life situation. The Case Studies can be used as group exercises or can first be completed by individual learners and then discussed in class.
  • Critical Thinking Exercises.Key concepts in the chapters are the focus of these exercises. Learners are asked to consider the validity of assumptions, reflect on issues, rethink points of view, apply information in new contexts, and make reasoned judgments. The Exercises serve as a model of the types of questions that nurse educators should be asking learners to deal with.
  • Ideas for Further Research.The research suggestions are designed primarily for graduate students. The research ideas can be used as trigger points for graduate research in the form of master's theses and doctoral dissertations. Faculty may also find that some of the ideas stimulate their own desire to conduct research on these worthy topics.

Too often new educators teach as they were taught without questioning their methods or rationale. It is my hope that after studying this text, the new (or renewed) nurse educator will teach with a sound understanding of basic learning theory and an excitement about the many approaches she or he can use to achieve desired learning outcomes.

Sandra DeYoung

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Nurse as Educator
Susan B. Bastable
No preview available - 2008
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