There seems to be great controversy afoot as to whether "old content" (especially anatomy and physiology) should be "retaught" in nursing curriculum.
Arguments against "reteaching" include:
Adult students should be self-motivated and actively participating in their educational process. As such, adult learners need to be held accountable for what they should have learned in another class or term. If they do not understand or haven't grasped "old" content, then it is their responsibility to seek out remediation/ support systems such as on-campus tutoring or computer-assisted instruction. The classroom is not the place for remediation.
The Education Consultants with the NC BON are advising nurse educators in our state not to reteach content, due to the tremendous time constraints and to reduce the burden of additive curricula. Anatomy and physiology, for example, is a co-requisite in our ADN program, and they are requesting us not to reteach it. If we must reteach previous material, then we lose precious time to teach new material. Compliance with this approach can be extremely difficult for instructor and student alike, especially with the more challenging content, such as fluid and electrolytes, or the cardiac system. Teachers who are complying with this approach are prefacing a new unit by instructing students to review the anatomy and physiology content for that unit before coming to class.
I tend to disagree with this position. I believe the effective classroom teacher needs to develop a clear understanding of what the students know before proceeding with planned instructional activities. I believe that it is imperative for educators to assess the overall level of our students and begin where they are. It's like taking aim at a bullseye. The effective instructor must be right "on target" with the students while lecturing and truly be "reaching" and "engaging" the audience.
As such, I always include a section on A & P with my lectures, because the students simply need this review to understand where I am going in the lecture. Most of the time, this is just a quick review. Otherwise, adult learner or not, they are just lost. Just because they have had the A & P course in the past and passed it with a "C" average, doesn't mean they truly understand the information. I cannot take that for granted. Also, the way our ADN schedule runs, students in the first year are still taking their anatomy courses and may not have been exposed to the particular subject matter yet. Many students do take as many non-nursing courses as possible before they get into the program, but this cannot be taken for granted. Also, the A & P teacher (as truly wonderful and excellent as he is) always tends to conveniently "run out of time" every year before teaching reproductive A & P :imbar . So this is entirely new content for the students which we must teach in detail.
I can see both sides of this argument and I would like to hear your opinions or advice. If an instructor is not "reteaching," I would like to hear how this is being successfully done without "losing" half the class.
Thanks! Awaiting your thoughts on this matter...
Feb 14, '05
Well, I loved science classes, that's where I got all my A's from (a turbocharger for my GPA cause they were 5 semester hour each). I also tutored in these courses to some of my collegues. I found out that even though it was easy for me to grasp the material, it wasn't as easy for my friends. You can say it will take them days to figure every new function (physiology & anatomy) or rule/laws (chemistry & biology) in science courses. So, reteaching may sort of aggravate some staff members who have set such courses as prerequisites before admission (basically a curriculum). If reteaching is to take place, then I am sure that the students who highly posses in science courses will be preferred in admission to Nursing Schools. (good for me, but I am not selfish). I don't think that's mutual because there are people who are book smart (they know how to crack a test).
The solution is; you don't have to reteach it, but you can make text books that are viable and contain only the necessary information (this will be impossible for all nursing textbooks because of all the laws and regulations required by the government to be listed in their textbooks, maybe that's why they make text books that have 6.23 x 10 to the 23rd power of pages). As you can see, the instructors are very limited in time (very critical). This should make it clear that the instructors cannot review science materials due to the time limit (and mainly that's not their major). I am sure some nursing instructors are as creative as any chemistry, math, biology and english(one) teacher I have encountered with.
Even when you take organic chemistry, you first review inorganic on the first chapter, so the same applies with biology and etc. If nursing teacher's do not want to reteach, then they should make handouts (you don't have to go over the handout) of the materials that students must know in order to understand the preceding work.
Then instructers have to be compassionate about what they teach, and mainly make their students aware of what they want them to know inside out (even if it's 6.23 x 10 to the 23rd power of pages of work), it atleast gives your students confidence, which has a factor that can be multiplied at 6.23 x 10 to the 23rd power strength. So basically here is how it should go in order to satisfy both parties.
For instance, if chapter three is about the cardiac treatment, medication, diseases & etc, there should be a chapter two prior to chapter three reviewing the structure and function of the heart, mainly focusing on the parts you want the students to know. I know I got a carried away a little and I apoligise, but this is the only way to let some of the instructors (I can't stand the guts of those who think they're all thaaaaaat)! know, how we as students should be tought. Rhyme = Put some nut and gut together. LOL!
Last edit by Maxs on Feb 14, '05
Apr 19, '05
Where I went to school, we were told to keep our A/P books for reference (in A/P by our professor), and we were held responsible for the information learned from class in those books. The prof said they would not be re-teaching A/P in nursing, medical or pharmacy school, so learn it "now" and keep the books for later reference. The Director of Nursing, in her "welcome" speech, said the exact same things. The things learned in "pre-requisite" coursework, we were held responsible for; her instuctors would *not* re-teach any of it. She was not lying. And we were busy enough, just doing nursing
So yes, as a pre-requisite course
, this meant knowledge of A/P, microbio, chem, psychologic and sociologic sciences, etc. was "assumed"
when nursing school material was presented.
In my mind, it's a lot like taking math coursework........as you advance, you build on concepts you already knew/know. They don't spend a whole lot of time re-teaching Addition and Subtraction in college algebra, nor should they.
As an adult learner
, if you don't know the material, it's your
responsiblity to review it and if needed, re-learn it. That would be taking adult responsiblity for learning. This is college, not high school, and big bucks are not paid by students to relearn lots of material we already had before. Time is way too short. (as is money).
I managed to get through nursing school with very good grades, even in patho-phys, which, obviously, builds on the student's knowledge of basic A/P. (a course I had taken over 2 years' prior).
My question for you is: Why should you waste time, money and resources re-teaching what is a *pre-requisite* course? I mean-------there is way too much else to learn as a student nurse, and in very short time.
Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 19, '05