Conceptual understandings and their application to a problem assessment task : implications for nursing curriculum design (Vol. 2)

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Conceptual understandings and their application to a problem assessment task : implications for nursing curriculum design (Vol. 2)


Author: Wong, Wai-lin Marian
Title: Conceptual understandings and their application to a problem assessment task : implications for nursing curriculum design (Vol. 2)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2001
Subject: Nursing.
Problem solving.
Nursing -- Study and teaching.
Curriculum planning.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Department: Dept. of Nursing and Health Sciences
Pages: 2 v. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Abstract: This phenomenographic study explores and understands the qualitative differences among second-year, baccalaureate, nursing students' conceptualizadon of relevant knowledge to successful problem-solving tasks in a respiratory nursing context. The study includes two phases. In the pilot study phase, the immediate experiences of the participants are tapped, allowing for the construction of the interview tasks and guides. In the main study phase, two consecutive interview tasks with embedded problem situations are used for the twelve participating nursing students to interact voluntarily. These tasks also act as triggers for initiating the actual problem-solving processes, upon which interview data are collected. The interview data are managed through three levels of data transformation until a framework of "categories of description" is achieved. The resulting "categories of description" framework includes the participants' knowledge conceptualization and problem-solving processes, embracing the knowledge components and its structures, and the conceptual operational behaviors for understanding the embedded problem situations and the nature of the tasks. The results reveal that nursing students adopt various knowledge base and problem-solving approaches when embarking on a nursing situation that occurs in real-life settings. Students utilize different conceptualizations and problem-solving approaches when they perceive their different roles in patient care service. The data also shows that problem-solving processes used by the students are neither consistent across two interview tasks nor necessarily matching their knowledge conceptualization processes. There is an implication that problem solving skill development for novices should focus on the presentation of real patient problem, especially when individuals embark on a situation in which new knowledge is developed or the knowledge content being learned is applied during the process of solving a problem. Four categories of conceptualization are identified, namely, complete integrative approach, partial integrative approach, non-integrative approach and forced-fitting approach. In addition, five categories of problem-solving approaches are also revealed. They are the complete reiterative loop-hypothesis formulation-validation approach, partial reiterative loop-hypothesis formulation-validation approach, incomplete reiterative loop-hypothesis formulation-validation approach, disjointed reiterative loop-hypothesis formulation-validation approach, and forced-fitting reiterative loop-hypothesis formulation-validation approach. Discussions of the findings focus not only on the roles of students and faculty in the nursing education practice and the Chinese cultural values of interpersonal relationship, but also on the characteristics of conceptual learning experience in relation to collaborative inquiry. The study proposes that facilitation of collaborative inquiry and problem-based learning can offer insights to novices on how to understand the problem-solving situations, what to do and how to proceed in solving them. The thesis concludes with recommendations suggestive of a curriculum design for a university-based nursing program, future directions for research in students learning to solve clinical problems and potential practical implications.

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