MSN FPX 6105 Teaching and Active Learning Strategies Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity KP

MSN FPX 6105 Teaching and Active Learning Strategies Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity KP

Learning Theories and Diversity

Learning Environment

MSN FPX 6105 Teaching and Active Learning Strategies Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity KP

Various educators teach in different learning environments. They also teach different courses using different approaches to benefit their students. As a nursing instructor in an institution of higher learning, I would be required to teach in a college or a university. I prefer teaching nursing students in a university to help them acquire their bachelor’s degrees in nursing. As an instructor, I would also be eligible to teach nurse educators and nurses to earn their master’s degrees in nursing. The topic for this learning environment (an institution of higher learning) would be to become a competent nurse in the modern and competitive nursing and medical disciplines. I would proceed with extreme caution to ensure I meet all my students’ needs and address their academic requirements in this endeavor. It is imperative to understand that although nursing students need to graduate and get their degrees, they must be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to address contemporary nursing issues.

           I choose to become a nursing instructor in an institution of higher learning because it is one of the primary environments that prepare nurses for their work. After leaving high school, students join higher education institutions to pursue their career courses, and nursing is one of them. As a nursing educator, I would like to prepare students to face practical situations in their careers. In this case, I choose to teach in a university to prepare students theoretically and practically. I do not wish to teach in a hospital setting because it involves more practical lessons. Training in this environment would imply teaching more practical classes and less theory, while my approach is to equip students with practical and theoretical nursing knowledge. I also do not prefer teaching patients because I train my nursing students to educate patients on various health matters in their interactions continually. Hence, I believe that nurses are sufficient patient educators, and health facilities do not need nurse educators to educate patients. My audience for this course would be undergraduate and graduate nursing students in institutions of higher learning. The undergraduate students are less familiar with nursing tenets, and they would require significant attention to equip them with all the knowledge taught at their level. On the other hand, the graduate students pursuing their master’s degrees are familiar with nursing and seek to advance their qualifications and become nurse educators. 

Educational Theory

The cognitive learning theory would significantly apply in developing this course, considering the teaching topic proposed in the teaching plan. This teaching theory affiliates with psychology, where cognitive psychologists assert that learning is a targeted internal process that focuses on thinking, organizing, understanding, and consciousness (McSparron et al., 2019). Cognitive psychologists believe that learning is not a phenomenon that can be observed directly. Instead, it is a process associated with the change in capability and capacity of a person to respond. Essentially, the theory assumes that learning does not immediately change behavior. However, a student must first be equipped with questioning skills and problem-solving (McSparron et al., 2019). Through information processing and exploration, they learn actively, solve problems, search for new information, and review their previous experiences to understand better what they are learning. 

           Cognitive theory has three components. First, it has comprehension, where for learning to be efficient and beneficial, the student must understand their reason for learning a particular subject. Secondly, it has memory, where cognitive learning discourages information cramming (Soto, 2019). It requires students to have a deep subject understanding to improve their ability to relate previous experiences with new knowledge and information. The last element is the application, where learners must apply new knowledge in life situations. 

Applying this theory in this course and the proposed topic will be effective because of the benefits associated with cognitive learning theory. Cognitive learning will enhance learning, where nursing students will relate with the experiences to apply new knowledge to solve nursing problems. It will also boost their confidence, strengthen comprehension, improve learners’ problem-solving skills (Zhang & Cui, 2018). Suppose other theories are applied in this course. In that case, the learners will not become proactive in solving problems because they will not learn to use their internal and external environments as drivers to their learning and understanding of concepts. Although the theory is robust in preparing learners, it has a weakness in that it depends on personalized learning. The learner must develop their unique way of knowledge acquisition and perception, and they must have their personal experiences to relate to what they learn.

Diversity in the Learning Group

Indeed, learners come from different backgrounds and environments, implying several diversities. The current target audience for the course comprises nursing students, and like other students, they have some differences. First, the groups may have ethnic differences. Today, universities and other higher learning institutions admit international students to various programs (Heng, 2019). Hence, the nursing programs in these institutions have students from different ethnic groups. Also, the group will have gender diversity. In the modern world, higher learning institutions have become accommodative, where they admit males and females in equal proportions in various academic programs (Jagers et al., 2018). Even if equality is not met, they accept a significant percentage of female students alongside a majority male population. Hence, the nursing programs will have this characteristic as well. 

Lastly, the groups are likely to have socioeconomic status differences. Indeed, students come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, with some coming from affluent backgrounds and others from low-income families (Altan, 2018). This difference can interfere with learning because students identify with their peers based on socioeconomic status. The affluent students will, in many cases, look down upon their counterparts from low-income families. On their side, the students from low-income families might lose their confidence, harming their academic performance. However, these diversities are inevitable because the student population and the learning environment are diverse (Valente et al., 2020). Therefore, it is imperative to establish strategies to address the diversities to ensure the students coexist irrespective of their differences to achieve their academic goals.

MSN FPX 6105 Teaching and Active Learning Strategies Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity KP

Addressing Diversity in the Learning Environment

While diversity can be a challenge in a learning environment, it is a strength in a learning environment because learners get to exchange ideas and share experiences based on their differences. If anything, in the proposed course, learning environment, and the proposed learning theory, diversity will allow students to exchange experiences to apply new knowledge to problem-solving. Therefore, several strategies will be used to address the learning environment diversity. First, as the instructor, I will understand my students. Promoting cultural awareness in the classroom starts with the teacher understanding and appreciating each student (Altan, 2018). In this strategy, I will understand each student’s cultural background, learning style, hobbies, and what makes them distinct from others. Demonstrating this interest to understand each student will create trust and establish a bond with my students to make them feel valued. The second strategy will be maintaining consistent communication. Instructors must maintain constant contact with the students throughout the learning period and ensure they communicate among themselves (Muldoon, 2022). To have practical interactions to share and exchange their ideas, I will make them form groups that meet the inclusion criteria. With diversity in discussion groups, students will interact and appreciate each other for their diversity. This approach will ensure that each student feels a part of the learning environment and the learning process because their contributions are valued at the group and class levels.

           I will also practice cultural sensitivity in the learning environment. Although it is significant to keep an open dialogue among students, it is equally essential to ensure that the instructor is sensitive to everyone’s language, culture, and beliefs concerns (Altan, 2018). Hence, I will ensure I understand each student’s diversity characteristics and be sensitive to them. Similarly, I will appeal to the learners to be sensitive to their differences and respect each other. Lastly, I will incorporate diversity in the lesson plan. The classroom environment is practical in fostering cultural awareness. However, instructors must ensure diversity is represented in the learning activities and the lesson plan (Evmenova, 2018). For instance, when teaching about the history of nursing and nursing education, I would broaden the content to go beyond the United States to accommodate students from the other continents. Depending on the cultures represented in the learner’s population, I could use different approaches to ingrain cultural diversity in the lesson plan to include every learner in the learning process.

Managing Conflict in the Classroom

Diversity can lead to conflict in the learning environment. Mainly, these conflicts affect the learners, especially those considered different from the larger student population. Indeed, conflicts cannot cease to happen because they are intrinsic to humanity, forming a fundamental part of people’s emotional and moral growth (Valente et al., 2020). However, it is imperative to manage the conflict that may arise in a learning environment because of the learners’ diversity. I will use various strategies to address the dispute in my learning environment. First, I will encourage my students to become obliging. In this strategy, learners or conflicting parties stop focusing on their differences and emphasize their commonalities (Valente et al., 2020). Their characteristics in this environment are that they are all students who want to excel in nursing. Hence, instead of perceiving each other based on their gender, racial and ethnic affiliations, or socioeconomic background, I will encourage them to consider each other as students and nothing more. I will also use the integrated approach to conflict management. In this strategy, people manage conflicts directly and cooperatively (Valente et al., 2020). They seek to solve disputes through collaboration. In this case, I will encourage my students to consider their differences and reach a solution that suits everyone involved in the conflict. Lastly, I will focus on peace-making from the beginning. This falls under the avoidance approach, where through diversity and cross-cultural sensitization, I will prevent conflicts among the learners because of their diversities.

References

Altan, M. Z. (2018). Intercultural sensitivity. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 46(1), 1-17. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mustafa-Altan-2/publication/324363306_Intercultural_Sensitivity_A_Study_of_Pre-service_English_Language_Teachers/links/5acbcc6c0f7e9bcd5199c593/Intercultural-Sensitivity-A-Study-of-Pre-service-English-Language-Teachers.pdf

Evmenova, A. (2018). Preparing teachers to use universal design for learning to support diverse learners. Journal of Online Learning Research, 4(2), 147-171. https://www.learntechlib.org/p/181969/

Heng, T. T. (2019). Understanding the heterogeneity of international students’ experiences: A case study of Chinese international students in US universities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 23(5), 607-623. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1028315319829880

Jagers, R. J., Rivas-Drake, D., & Borowski, T. (2018). Equity & social and emotional learning: A cultural analysis. CASEL Assessment Work Group Brief series. https://measuringsel.casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Frameworks-Equity.pdf

MSN FPX 6105 Teaching and Active Learning Strategies Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity KP

McSparron, J. I., Vanka, A., & Smith, C. C. (2019). Cognitive learning theory for clinical teaching. The Clinical Teacher, 16(2), 96-100. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/tct.12781

Muldoon, K. M. (2022). IMPROVing communication about diversity, equity, and inclusion in health professions education. The Anatomical Record. https://anatomypubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ar.24864

Soto, F. A. (2019). Beyond the “Conceptual Nervous System”: Can computational cognitive neuroscience transform learning theory?. Behavioral processes, 167, 103908. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376635718304893

Valente, S., Lourenço, A. A., & Németh, Z. (2020). School conflicts: Causes and management strategies in classroom relationships. In Interpersonal Relationships. IntechOpen. https://www.intechopen.com/online-first/school-conflicts-causes-and-management-strategies-in-classroom-relationships

Zhang, J., & Cui, Q. (2018). Collaborative learning in higher nursing education: A systematic review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 34(5), 378-388. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S8755722318301029

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