Memorial Medical Center, Inc.
Daguasi, Cliff Richard
Lacanilao, Fatima Grace
Luis, Mary Ann Krisna
Mapatac, Tomas III
Reyes, Ma. Martell
Jean F. Giddens, PhD, APRN-BC and Debra P. Brady, Phd, RN (2007)
Health science education is experiencing content saturation because there is more content than can be possibly taught in any given curriculum (Diekelmann 2001). As textbooks become thicker and course content more complex, the students become frustrated because of too much reading, content processing, and memorization. They complain to have reached their limits of grasping ideas. When focus is on content, the volume covered is high, but the retention of information is low because of a failure to accomplish deep learning and understanding.
Gidden and Brady (2007) enumerated the causes of content saturation and these include information age, changes in health care delivery, teacher-centered pedagogy, content repeti¬tion, and academic-practice gap. They pointed out that if an institution focuses more on theories than application of practice and skills, nursing graduates are still inadequately prepared in the hospital setting.
A need for a change in the educational practice is being claimed by the Institute of Medicine IOM (2003). One of the reasons is the need for the evolution of knowledge based on the changing needs of the learner. Innovations must be addressed on teaching, and how designing a curriculum promotes learning that is necessary for advancement. Moreover, the National League of Nurses (2003) agreed on a curriculum transformation in nursing education into a more responsive approach to create and shape the future of nursing practice. It must be evidence based and collaborative with integration of new technology.
Carrieri-Kohlman, Lindsey, and West (2003) defined a con¬ceptual approach as a process that deliberately attempts to examine the nature and substance of nursing from a con¬ceptual perspective. It requires nurse educators to think differently about designing a curriculum and teach differently by implementing student-centered and active learning activities. Conceptual development is a lifelong process because it requires a higher-level of thinking ability.
Instruction based on conceptual approach is an effective way for students to genuinely understand topics. When teachers base their instruction on concepts, they can expect the students to learn more than just facts. It is an effective way to challenge and prepare nursing stu¬dents to practice their skills in conceptual thinking—which are necessary to respond to a rapidly changing profession and health care environment.
To conclude, It is essential that learners become critical thinkers and problem solvers, not just memorizers of facts. They need big ideas that they can take with them through their lives so that they will be able to understand complex interactions and become true innovators.
1. What are the benefits of a concept-based curriculum?
2. If you will become a future nurse educator, what educational reform will you consider in developing a concept-based curriculum?
3. In the Philippine setting, what challenges will be faced by schools offering nursing programs if they plan to adopt a concept-based curriculum?
Diekelmann, N. (2002). “Too Much Content…” Epistemologies’ Grasp and Nursing Education. Journal of Nursing Education. 2002 Nov;41(11):469-70.
National League for Nursing (2003). Position Statement: Innovation in Nursing Education: A Call to Reform. Retrieved April 8, 2010 from National League for Nursing Website: http://www.nln.org/aboutnln/positionstatements/innovation.htm
Institute of Medicine (2003). Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality. Washington, DC: National Academic Press
Carrieri-Kohlman, V., Lindsey, A.M., and West, C.M. (2003). Pathophysiological Phenomena in Nursing: Human Response to Ilness, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders