Disrupting Traditional Nursing Education

There is an article recently published in Nursing Inquiry that I highly recommended for all nurse educators who seek emancipatory approaches to teaching and learning!  Here is Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 11.22.57 AMthe citation:

Tengelin, E., & Dahlborg-Lyckhage, E. (2017). Discourses with potential to disrupt traditional nursing education: Nursing teachers’ talk about norm-critical competence. Nursing Inquiry, 24(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/nin.12166

The article starts with an excellent summary of recent literature that affirms the movement toward emancipatory, critical education in nursing. The study itself if a discourse analysis of focus group interviews of nursing educators discussing their own competence in challenging the norms that sustain inequality.  Despite the very good intentions of the participants, discourse analysis revealed an underlying discourse that placed the teachers as the “norm” in relation to “others.”  The authors’ discourse analysis revealed ways in which the language of nurse educators reflected unexamined limitations and barriers that derive from our socialization – mental constructs and images that are imbedded in the ways we think, and the ways we talk, that inadvertently sustain the very unequal power structures that we seek to dismantle. One of the most important points conveyed in this study is how necessary it is for all of us to remain self-reflective of our own participation in system of inequality and injustice, even when we have the best of intentions!  Here is their conclusion:

“This study demonstrates that traditional nursing education can be disrupted by
the norm-critical potential of the discourses of teaching, caring and personal learning. However, nursing teachers’ own normality is not questioned in any of these discourses, which may prevent the development of genuine norm-critical competence. To reshape the social practice of nursing education, norm criticism must be continuously discussed, problematized and enacted in the educational context, as well as being combined with self-reflection and the confronting of one’s own privilege.” p.9

This article points the way toward making changes that start with our Selves!  I invite all readers of this blog to not only read, but study this article!  Then let’s have a discussion here about your insights, ideas, and experiences!  By sharing, we can begin to practice the ideals that we seek to nurture in our classrooms!

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