Nursing Education Concept By Mary Jane Smith

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Nursing Education Concept By Mary Jane Smith

Nursing Education Concept By Mary Jane Smith

Who Is Mary Jane Smith,Willing To Teach Yet Not Being Sure,Moving Along By Taking It On,Letting Go And Trusting The Process,Still Figuring It Out And Creating New,Summary.

Who Is Mary Jane Smith

    Reflecting on one's personal story of teaching provides an opportunity to consider professional turning points, encourage openness to change, and enable development of one's teaching. 

    Every teacher has a story that describes the way in which their teaching has developed over the years. Story is a way of creating meaning about connections between significant events, as past and future are linked in the present. 

    The construction of a story is a natural human process that enables the understanding of experiences (Smith &Liehr , 2003). When events are remembered and organized in the unfolding story of teaching there is a telling of what was and can be, all in the context of the present moment of the story. 

    This chapter presents the author's story of teaching 30 years of nursing science to master's and doctoral students, and offers examples of significant story-moments in a life of teaching. 

    Through reflection on the experience of teaching core nursing science courses significant story-moments were identified. These story moments are shifts that seemed to shape and transform teaching. 

    In the process of reflecting on teaching, insights were discerned as the experience of teaching was uncovered. Mc Adams (1993) believes that human identity is based on “the idea that each of us comes to know who he or she is by creating a story of self”. In reflecting on this personal story, four shifts in the evolution of Herexperience of teaching surfaced. 

    These shifts are: 

a) wanting to teach yet not being sure

b) moving along by taking it on

c) letting go and trusting the process

d) still figuring it out and creating anew

    The story that follows is structured by these shifts, which highlight the story-moments as turning points in the developing story of teaching.

Willing To Teach Yet Not Being Sure

    This phase in Her life of teaching included these story-moments: letting others do it, attending to a beam of light, and deciding to radiate a lesson. The story begins as She  embarked with a new PhD into teaching master's students in a graduate nursing science course. 

    There was a yearning to get the knowledge across and at the same time, a sense of not being sure. Letting others do it was safe, sure, and grounded in the way She  was taught in Her master's program. 

    At that time, the nursing courses were a series of guest lecturers and student presentations. The teacher of the course coordinated the coming in and the going out of various persons who talked primarily about areas in which they held specialized knowledge. 

    Although the teacher of the course encouraged questions and clarified areas that were not clear, the teacher sat rather passively on the sidelines letting others do the teaching. Certainly, one's history and experience as a learner has a deep and powerful impact on the way one teaches. 

    These formative experiences pattern teaching practices. And so, when She  began teaching, the class sessions were scheduled with guest lectures, films, and student presentations. At a tacit level, She  knew there was something not right about this way of doing things.

    During this time, which was in the first 1 or 2 years, She  was walking through the hall at the University at a time when classes were going on. The door to a classroom was open, and She  heard a faculty lecturing with conviction, as though the point being made was valued and significant. 

    This was a moment of awakening. She  said to myself, “A teacher should teach.” At that moment and although it happened long ago She  recall it vividly today she decided to take charge of and responsibility for the courses She  was teaching.

    She came to grips with the idea of a lesson and began thinking about the course as a series of lessons aimed at meeting the objectives. There was something important to be learned, and conceptualizing what was important up front as it was developed and integrated with previous lessons became Hergoal. 

    She  put together the lesson in detail on 5x8 cards and then presented the lesson to the class. By this She  mean, 1 lectured. The students seemed to be paying attention as they busily took notes. 

    During this phase, there was a progression from sitting on the periphery, more or less as a spectator letting others teach various aspects of the course, to making a decision about teaching with responsibility and conviction.

Moving Along By Taking It On

    This phase of teaching included these story-moments: grasping the lesson of the lesson and updating a glimpse of meaning through critical dialogue. The lesson of the lesson came when She  read the students' papers and found that many did not get the lesson. 

    Their writing about the major concepts articulated in the lesson lacked breadth, depth, and creativity. The lessons were not taking. She  assumed that the students were learning what was being told to them in the lecture and was disappointed with evidence to the contrary. 

    There was a gap in what the teacher assumed was taught and what the students were learning. Brookfield (1995) describes teaching innocently as “assuming that the meanings and significance we place on our actions are the ones that students take from them” (p. 2). 

    Although She  had a clear grasp of the meaning to be transmitted in the lesson and the meaning was articulated in a logical way, the lesson did not take. She  recall discussing this dilemma with colleagues. 

    One of them sent Hera cartoon titled, “How to teach a cow a damned good lesson.” It was a depiction of a cow being hit by a two-by-four with the tag line, “First you have to get her attention.” It was Her belief that She  had the students' attention, but She  needed to understand why the lesson wasn't taking

    When talking to students about their papers, She  could see that they were grappling with creating meaning about the best ideas of the course, and that they were trying to figure things out. 

    There was a yearning to understand and when the yearning was mobilized through discussion, learning was enhanced. It was during this time that She  began to feel grounded in what She  was doing and how She  was thinking about that which She  was teaching. 

    Through making clear to students where She  was coming from, it began to dawn on Her that dialogue between teacher and student, student and student, and student and self were essential to mobilizing a yearning to learn and understand. 

    It was at this time that She  attended a seminar given by Richard Paul who believes that critical thinking entails critical questioning. He made the point that although critical thinking is expected, it must be developed and requires effort on the part of the teacher to engage the student in thinking critically. 

    This represented a shift from giving the lesson to critically thinking about the lesson. Paul (1993) describes Socratic questioning as essential to engaging students in critical thinking. She  began thinking about the lesson as a series of questions that would guide the students in thinking through the lesson. 

    These questions took the form of clarifying, raising basic issues, probing, and guiding students through their viewpoints, perspectives, and reasoning as they arrived at a stand in relation to the question. 

    The focal questions for each lesson were outlined on the course syllabus and students were encouraged to read and come to class prepared to discuss the questions with the teacher and with each other. 

    This way of teaching not only took time and energy in preparation, but also a sensitivity in knowing when to push further and when to loosen a bit. 

    This way of engaging dialogue is not so much about finding a right answer and certainly not about one or two word responses, but rather about staying with the question and with the student in order to uncover a deeper understanding of the topic under study. 

    It is essential that the teacher be knowledgeable about the disciplinary perspective that is at the heart of the lesson and be gentle with the students in the critical questioning process. Students often find the questioning disconcerting at the beginning. 

    However, as time goes on, they learn that it is through the questioning that they come to know and understand. 

    A typical student response to the questioning process is, “Calling on students to answer is a good way to get everyone involved. Although She  can't say She  like being called on (even though it is getting better), the questions make Her think a little harder about the subject matter. Knowing She  might need to discuss a question in class, She  prepare differently.” 

    When students are thinking harder, they are more likely to grasp the lesson of the lesson and engage in critical dialogue. In taking on teaching, there was a commitment to build value in each lesson by working steadily, with openness, persistence, and a gentle determination.

Letting Go And Trusting The Process

    This phase of teaching includes these story-moments: engaging mutual inquiry and enlightenment, and recognizing the unfinished nature of the lesson. 

    In this phase, She  was challenged to be truly present in the here and now with students by striving to see and hear their point of view and helping them to expand their view in greater breadth and depth. Kolb (1984) believes that individuals form abstract concepts and generalizations by reflecting on their experience. 

    Changing the way students understand and know nursing comes as they integrate what they are learning with what they already know. Integration is accomplished by engaging students in the critical reflective process of linking their experience with the formation of abstract concepts. 

    She  began requiring that students respond to the following statements based on Brookfield's (1995) critical incident format. The questions students respond to in writing are: 

1) Describe the time that you were most engaged in class today

2) Describe the time that you were most distanced in class today

3) Describe the action that anyone took that was most helpful to you in class today

4) Describe the action that anyone took that was most confusing to you today

5) What about class surprised you the most today

    The students reflect on the class and describe in detail their responses to the questions. For example, in describing when they were most engaged, they are encouraged to elaborate by clarifying and putting in their words what was engaging, and by probing their engagement in light of assumptions and viewpoints that they hold. 

    The students e-mail their response 2 to 3 days after class. The teacher then reads the reflections for common themes and takes time at the beginning of the next class session to discuss the themes with the students. This provides an opportunity for students to hear the reflection of others. 

    Student responses at the end of the course indicate that the reflections have contributed to their integration of the course concepts and to an internalization of the process of critical reflection. Some written responses that demonstrate an integration of the process of critical thinking and reflection are as follows:

    She have been encouraged to think critically; at first She  didn't recognize the teaching for what it was. She  had to think and stay focused during class. Preparation is key. No easy answers were given to Her as She  was guided and encouraged to think through the process.

    She gained a lot of insight. The reflections were really helpful in Her ability to process what She  had learned in class. This course was challenging and the reflections helped Her to make sense of the concepts. She  will continue to work on applying these concepts in Her practice.

    In this phase, the challenge of engaging mutual inquiry leads to reflection about what is, what can be, and other questions. Mutual inquiry maximizes a depth of knowledge and understanding for students and teachers.

Still Figuring It Out And Creating New

    In this, the now phase of Her life as a teacher, She  continue to prepare the teaching/learning session by thinking through the logic of the structure of the session, changing it, and trying to improve the substance, clarity, and integration of the last session. 

    Even though She  have been teaching for a long time, there is still the unsettled anticipation of the teaching/learning session. 

    One never has it down-pat; there is always the yearning to make the teaching/learning session different and to really connect with the students. She  think about how She  can query the various dimensions of a concept with the students by asking questions about assumptions, meaning, and frame of reference. 

    In addition, She  let the students know She  expect them to come pre-wall to discuss, question, and be questioned. 

    Questioning in a nonthreatening manner with the intent to explore the area is always with Her in the teaching/learning situation. Her intention is not about rightness or wrongness but rather about exploration and discussion. 

    It is this process of discovery that leads to the student's integration of concepts and principles, a deepened understanding, and self-illumination that can be taken on to application. 

    She  am always working towards guiding the student in understanding abstract concepts that can be applied in nursing practice.

    Another aspect of where She  am now is becoming more aware of Her presence with students that is beyond instructing and questioning. 

    She  am aware that when She  come to the teaching/learning situation fully prepared and the students too have read and come prepared, we enter what Bache (2000) refers to as the “Dance of Content and Resonance” (p. 4). 

    In this dance, time passes quickly as ideas and insights come to the group that really spark learning for student and teacher. In the dance, there is an intellectual exchange that goes beyond, to the experience of delight and genuine learning. 

    The dance does not happen in every teaching/learning session and when it does, it is wonderful. Another part of the dance is an other-regarding approach as a way of being a teacher that brings a spirit of thoughtfulness and consideration to the students' concerns, problems, and questions in the teaching/learning situation. 

    This approach goes beyond politeness and civility to a genuine presence that seeks first to understand where the student is coming from, to stay with and true to where they are, to move with them to some resolution, and to validate what is understood. 

    She  call this an other-regarding approach because as teacher, one chooses deliberately to stay with the student in moving on, through , and beyond as learning and understanding transpires. 

    Taking on another regarding approach may not be for everyone; it is how She  continue to explore Her way of becoming truly myself and finding Her own voice as teacher with students.


    This story came from reflection on turning points in Her experience as a teacher of graduate students. The recollective process enabled Her to think about those moments in Her life as a teacher that mobilized change. 

    It is not so much a story about the what of teaching, although that is important and is the backdrop of the story, but rather a story about engaging the process of teaching. The story is about being present with students through discussion and writing in a way that enables them to think, read, and write critically.

    Writing this story has enabled Her to claim what She  have lived as a teacher and to integrate more fully those insights learned along the way into Her present teaching. There is always more to the story and one can never tell the whole story. 

    It is the one collected. Every teacher is unique and has an original story to collect and tell. Telling stories is a creative and energizing way to make teaching accessible to ourselves and to others. 

    This story of teaching is shared in the spirit expressed by Nouwen (1997), “We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them” (p. 5). 

    Telling and listening to stories offer a powerful resource for developing the art of teaching. Stories about teaching are works in progress, worth telling, and worth hearing. These stories are opportunities for sharing attributes about teaching that can make a difference in the lives of students and in the lives of teachers.

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