Philosophy & vision

Understanding and being able to effectively articulate an educational philosophy took time, experience gained from teaching both in the classroom and online, and reading broadly in the educational literature often going back to the early writings of Bloom, Vygotsky, Bruner, and Knowles to name just a few who have shaped (or should shape) our teaching today. That said, what I learned from direct teaching and working with faculty as an instructional designer was that often educators in nursing choose to fall back on the same teaching methods they experienced as students. By that I mean using the lecture that is questionably effective in the classroom and definitely ineffective when teaching online. Writing case studies has been a challenge for many faculty, and others could not see how research methods or other non-clinical courses could possibly be taught using that method. Much work remained to be done.

What finally solidified and validated my learner-centered, constructivist teaching philosophy that recognized and promoted what the adult learner brought to the table was the book by Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, and Day, Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation published in 2010. Based on comprehensive research funded by the Carnegie Foundation that included a review of the literature, national surveys, and observation of classroom and clinical teaching, the resulting three recommendations were not new or ground-breaking, but the very foundations of education that had been written about for decades. Yet, few educators strayed from how teaching had always been done, perhaps simply because that’s the way it had always been done. So now, eight years after their book was published, change is difficult and remains a slow process. Support was often lacking, from my experience, for new and seasoned faculty in how to change their teaching practice, which is why I wrote the book, Designing and Teaching Online Courses in Nursing. The section of this website, My Book, details the specific contents. Suffice to say here that it is a “how-to” book written for faculty that outlines the steps for online curriculum development or revision and is integrated and designed to meet any credentialing or accreditation standards, managing the day-to-day activities of the online environment, and evaluating learning based on cognitive science research. I hope you will find it helpful.

 Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard, V., & Day, L. (2010). Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

© Sally Kennedy 2018