What went wrong? A critical reflection on educator midwives’ inability to transfer education knowledge

Yvonne Botma, Champion Nyoni


As part of a competency-based curriculum development exercise, educator midwives were required to apply the design principles of constructivism, constructive alignment, scaffolding and authenticity in the development of teaching and learning material for a newly approved curriculum. Through action research cycles, the facilitators and educator midwives reflected on possible reasons why they struggled to apply the mentioned principles in developing learning activities for students. The unit of analysis comprised the reflections of facilitators and 12 educator midwives. Ten of the 12 educator midwives were older than 40 years and all had qualifications and experience in midwifery and education. The action–reflection cycles contributed to improvement in the quality of the learning activities but application of the scaffolding principle remained a challenge. Failure of the educator midwives to transfer their learning raised concerns about their ability to facilitate deep learning. Considering the age of the group and the ingrained rote memorisation characteristic of education methods during their training made curriculum drift a real threat. Educator midwives struggled to integrate education knowledge into educational practice.  Nursing schools that are in the process of changing their teaching paradigm may find this article useful to identify possible challenges and suggested solutions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v5n6p1

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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