2007 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., April 24, 2007
HUB West Ballroom

Session Description


Teaching to care: Using caring theory and narrative pedagogy to enhance patient and family education

Jerelyn Resnick and Theresa Chason - Nursing Program, UW Bothell


Ads promoting nursing careers highlight the profession’s caring nature. But, how do students learn to care and incorporate it into nursing practice, in which teaching of patients, families, communities and other nurses is a critical component? Although aspects of caring can be learned through clinical role modeling, how do nursing students learn and experience it in classrooms and web-based assignments? What are the theoretical and pedagogical links between a practice-based theory of caring and learning to educate someone about health and illness? How does narrative pedagogy provide a framework and context for teaching and learning about teaching and learning?

We—a lecturer and graduate student—are exploring these developmental questions in the course Teaching and Learning Strategies for Patient and Family Education. Our students are nurses in the UWB BSN completion program. Their nursing experience ranges from new graduates to 30 years.

They are learning and applying a variety of assessment and teaching strategies, learning theories and models. To more deeply explore how these apply to nursing practice, we decided to introduce Swanson’s theory of nurse caring and the use of patient narrative to understand the patient’s perspective. On Blackboard, students wrote narratives as though they were patients, some so realistic their classmates were in tears and worried about each other’s health. They ably applied the nurse caring theory to these narratives. We were surprised by the power of this assignment and wanted to explore further links between theory and practice. Now, we have asked them to write community-based narratives, and to propose education strategies adapted to the patient’s needs and context. We are beginning to assess how narratives help students use aspects of the teaching/learning theories and models and the nurse caring theory to develop and deliver more patient-centered education. What we are learning has already changed our teaching.




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