The aims of this essay are to analyze Dr. Lindsay’s case study and to identify: (1) the educational roles that Dr. Lindsay held; (2) education, skills, requirements and settings for each type of role; and (3) what Dr. Lindsay could have done to be more successful in these settings.
Throughout her life career, Dr. Lindsay held a variety of educational roles in different settings. These roles and settings can be generally grouped into three broad categories: (1) teaching in academia; (2) teaching in healthcare settings; and (3) delivering on-the-job education and training.
The first educational role Dr. Lindsay held was to educate the employees of an agricultural company about chemical hazards and blood-borne pathogens. This type of job can classified as on-the-job education and training. While Dr. Lindsay possessed necessary qualifications and had good command of the information she had to deliver, she lacked skills in conveying this information and formulating effective teaching methodology. In order to be more successful in settings like those, one should be able to identify and adjust to audience’s diverse learning needs. It is also of paramount importance to assess audience’s readiness to learn prior to the commencement of the course.
Since different learning needs dictate different learning style, each part of the audience should be presented with information in an engaging way that is relevant to their background, experience, and expectations from the learning process. Dr. Lindsay was able to make useful conclusions from the feedback she received, and effective organization of evaluation process as well as implementation of its results are two powerful tools of improving nursing education (Gaberson & Oermann, 2005; O’Connor, 2006).
The second educational role Dr. Lindsay asserted was in academia, as allied health coordinator and nursing instructor at Wheatland Community College. In those settings, a prerequisite to success is the combination of organizational skills with deep knowledge of the scholarship of teaching. Dr. Lindsay felts that her qualifications were insufficient and decided to pursue a Master degree in nursing education. She successfully underwent all the three phases of reflective self-study, namely assessment, implementation, and dissemination (Drevdahl et. al., 2002).
The next educational role Dr. Lindsay held was associated with delivering a course for nurses working in nursing homes. It was more practice-oriented yet still rested within the field of academia. While Dr. Lindsay’s qualifications were sufficient enough to teach it at an appropriate level, she had little autonomy to redesign the course with a view to making it more effective, since it was created by the state and had to follow specified curriculum and teaching guidelines.
In order to be more successful in the settings like those, one should either pressure the superiors to reconsider the structure and content of the course — since, as Iwasiw (2005) argues, effective curriculum design is what makes nursing educational relevant to students — or combine the presentation of the formal content with experimenting with teaching methods and styles. As Stull & Lantz (2005) argue, effective nursing scholarship encompasses independent research into different teaching methods and techniques as well as keeping up to date with the development of the body of scientific knowledge on the subject of nursing.
The next educational role of Dr. Lindsay was teaching staff development classes as a staff educator. In those settings, she turned out to lack administrative skills rather than educational qualifications. A good educator should be able to organize the learning process effectively both from academic and technical side.
The next role Dr. Lindsay asserted was the one in healthcare settings as a nurse educator in a local WIC clinic. Despite her abundant experience and expertise in nursing education, she failed to identify learning needs of her diverse audiences, ranging from mothers who didn’t know how to make formula to the certified staff physicians. It was also excessive administrative workload that prevented her from succeeding in this position. Under that scenario, the most feasible way of solving the crisis would have been to delegate some part of her responsibilities to subordinates and focus on her core functions as a nurse educator.
In the position of a nurse instructor at Carmel College Dr. Lindsay had to act as a clinical instructor, lecturer, and with a member of the committee that assessed the whole nursing program. However, in the position like this Dr. Lindsay had to acquire some additional technical qualifications, like HTML use. In addition, she had to grapple with problems of ethical character, like student plagiarizing papers.
Another Dr. Lindsay’s position in academia was an assistant professor at Western State College. This position implied not only mastering her teaching techniques and effectively addressing diverse learning needs of the college attendees but also academic work like research and publishing. In other words, she had to posses not only ‘Scholarship of Practice’ and ‘Scholarship of Teaching’ but also ‘Scholarship of Discovery’ and ‘Scholarship of Integration’ (AACN, 1999). However, in order to master all these skills at a more quality level, there are certain practical steps to be taken.
As Pape (2000) suggests, Scholarship of Practice can be mastered by attending seminars, workshops, and professional meetings; Scholarship of Teaching can be enhanced by community teaching; Scholarship of Discovery’ can be developed by quality improvement efforts; and Scholarship of Integration can be advanced by multidisciplinary work. And these are only singular examples of the methods that can be employed to mater these skills. Since developing research skills are a requirement for such a position, she had to pursue her PhD degree.
As an associate professor at Champion University, Dr. Lindsay took a different approach to teaching, since she was working with graduate students whom she perceived as her colleagues. At Champion University, she also engaged in mentoring, which required mastering her interpersonal skills along with her academic scholarship.
AACN. (March 1999). Position statement on defining scholarship for the discipline of nursing. Retrieved October 3, 2007, from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Publications/positions/scholar.htm
Drevdahl, D.J., Stackman, R.W., Purdy, J.M., & Louie, B.Y. (September 2002). Merging reflective inquiry and self-study as a framework for enhancing the scholarship of teaching. Journal of Nursing Education 41(9): 413-420.
Gaberson, K.B., & Oermann, M.H. (2005). Evaluation And Testing in Nursing Education, 2nd ed. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Iwasiw, C. (2005). Curriculum Development in Nursing Education. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc.
O’Connor, A.B. (2006). Clinical Instruction And Evaluation: A Teaching Resource. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc.
Pape, T. (2000). Boyer’s model of scholarly nursing applied to professional development. AORN Journal 71: 995, 997–999, 1001, 1003.
Stull, A., & Lantz, C. (2005). An innovative model for nursing scholarship. Journal of Nursing Education 44(11): 493–497.