BSN Nurse Educator Conceptions of Teaching: The Science and Art of Nursing Education

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Date created: 
Nurse educator
Conceptions of teaching
Approaches to teaching
Science of teaching
Art of teaching
Reflection of teaching

This is an interpretive descriptive (ID) qualitative study of the conceptions of teaching held by nurse educators in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is an exploration of a set of twenty interviews conducted with fourteen nurse educators, representing four post-secondary institutions in the Vancouver vicinity. The center of this account begins with the three research questions: How do BSN nurse educators conceive of teaching? How do those conceptions of teaching manifest in their teaching practice? And why might such conceptions form as they do? I have written and presented this study in a narrative voice to depict my own learning journey and self-study as I have researched this question about how nurse educators understand teaching and why it is important. My analyses and interpretations of these interviews are couched in an extensive review of literature in the field of education, spanning disciplines of curriculum theory, adult and post-secondary education, professional education, and nursing education. The findings of the study indicate that participants are not formally prepared to teach and experience a number of significant challenges in their teaching practice. Such challenges include relating to students, managing heavy workloads, integrating theory and practice, adapting to teaching differences, and coping with psychological distress. The participants hold three primary conceptions of teaching: Transmitting Knowledge, Apprenticeship, and Facilitating Ways of Understanding. The majority of participants conceive of teaching as delivering information and directing activities in the classroom and apprenticeship in the clinical setting. The way that participants form conceptions of teaching may be related, in part, to their previous experiences of teaching and learning as nursing students, the nursing discipline’s ideology of a profession, and the present emphasis on the science of teaching in nursing education. The findings and significance of the study are contextualized in a critical review of nursing education as it has evolved over the past decades and the concomitant potential for improving BSN Nursing programs in BC.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Allan MacKinnon
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.