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Teaching and Learning in the Affective Domain (Part Two)

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Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

Adult learners need to be motivated in order to learn. Do they need to know, “how will learning this content benefit me? What do I stand to gain? How will knowing this information further my career goals?”

Teaching and Learning in the Affective Domain (Part Two)

Motivation, then, is crucial to adult learning. Volition is accessed through processes in the affective domain. The most powerful type of motivation for adult learners is internal, and the educator can enhance learning by tapping into the student's pre-existing internal motivators.

To access these internal motivators, an "ice-breaker" type exercise at the start of the semester is very useful. Learners can be asked to individually share a little about themselves with the rest of the class, as well as their personal interests in taking the class.

Affection is the key psychological process that reorganizes learning content in the brain. Coupling content with an affective component is a potent way to structure learning. For instance, in teaching the concept of ageism and how prevalent this is in our society, students might be asked to reflect on their perceptions of the elderly. They might also be asked to reflect on instances in which they were discriminated against or treated unfairly.

Professional identity and ethics are forged within the affective domain. This is something that is "caught" as well as "taught." in terms of valuing, the nurse educator must first gain the students' confidence and respect, before imparting professional ethics or attempting to teach cognitive content. The classroom or clinical environment should model caring, compassion, empathy, and valuing the uniqueness of each individual. It should feel "safe." this climate of nurturing greatly facilitates teaching and learning.

Another important affective component is feeling supported. Students are much more likely to learn and will perform better if they feel supported by the instructor. This means giving clear instructions for class assignments and tests, as well as positive reinforcement. A little bit of encouragement can go a very long way.

The affective domain is central to effective teaching and learning. As educators, we can all benefit from addressing affective components in our teaching style.

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3 Comment(s)

darrell

Specializes in Psychiatric, MICA. Has 4 years experience.

Reminds me of the main reason I gravitated toward psych: does little good to fix many things if behavioral change doesn't also occur. This is true of treating substance abuse, trauma secondary to risk taking behaviors and diabetes. I really think that the patient teaching and therapeutic communication are core foundational elements in the holistic approach of Nursing.

D

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

Reminds me of the main reason I gravitated toward psych: does little good to fix many things if behavioral change doesn't also occur. This is true of treating substance abuse, trauma secondary to risk taking behaviors and diabetes. I really think that the patient teaching and therapeutic communication are core foundational elements in the holistic approach of Nursing.

D

Excellent point, darell. If we don't first "reach" a prospective learner in some affective element (such as trust, connection, feeling cared for), then our teaching is much less effective.

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

I like this quote from a textbook:

"The tendency under a market liberal approach to education is to see adults as numbers in a room or statistics on a chart from a competitive perspective. This distracts attention away from the fundamental notion that effective teaching and learning occurs in a nonthreatening supportive situation where social relationships are important and take time to foster" (Findsen, 2005, p. 97).

Findsen, B. (2005). Learning Later. Malabar, FL: Krieger.