Even between the best instructor and the best student, understanding is often distorted. A persons inherent believes and ideas influences his/her understanding on what is being thought or what is being explained in books (Gopee, 2008). The more the quantity of information that is thought, the less is the understanding. When we are children we depend greatly on visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic senses to understand ideas and concepts. However, as we mature we develop the ability to understand abstract concepts (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2015). These skills develop slowly with age. Concrete concepts and ideas are easy to understand by all age groups and thus teaching must employ concrete experiences. Understanding methodology and results are important aspects of scientific learning (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2015). Thinking and doing are along with memorizing certain technical terms is expected from a nursing student. Teaching must enable the students experience thoughts and actions that are typical this field.
Most underachieving students have trouble with the learning process. Teaching methods that are effective with achieving students may not work with them. These students often require more time to understand concepts. Lack of confidence, requirement for a settling period are often noticed in underachieving students. An effective mentor should be able to ensure confidence into these students and support their specific mentoring needs. Behavioral problems and poor interpersonal skill often restrict them from contacting the mentor. The mentor’s ability to provide analytical and suggestive feedbacks can help these students to improve themselves. (Hinchliff, 2004)
Learning style refers to a student’s preferred learning method. A person’s learning environment does affect his/her learning style (Anderson, 2011). Honey and Mumford, 1992 identified 4 learning styles among students: Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist. Though research indicates that there is no relationship between learning style and learning effectiveness, majority of the nursing students are found to have a reflective style of learning (Rasool and Rawaf, 2007). A mentor can adopt several assessment technique to evaluate a student’s performance: direct observation of student performance, working alongside with student, reflective discussion, oral presentation, clinical simulation, reflective writing, self and peer assessment, portfolio evidence and feedback from peers and mentors (Anderson, 2011). These assessment techniques will help him understand a student’s learning style.
Effective learning may require restructuring of one’s thinking process radically. Learning is not about simply adding new thought to old ones. Sometimes a student needs to give up on some of his/her earlier ideas or beliefs completely to accept new ones. No matter how clearly these new information are communicated these inherent ideas influences one’s understanding. The best way to communicate essential information is in the form of concepts. However these concepts are sometimes perceived by the learners as facts that need to be memorized for passing the course and often do not affect their thought process. It is important that concepts are presented in a thought provoking way. (Journeytoexcellence.org.uk, 2015)
Encouraging students to ask questions can help to access the extent of their understanding process and also helps to engage them with the subject being thought. Evoking a student’s curiosity and interest towards the subject is an important aspect of students mentoring. Teachers who invoke fear and are difficult to approach and are often ineffective in teaching students. It is also important that the classes provide an intellectually satisfying experience to students. For this student must be thought concepts appropriate to their level of maturity. (Jtln.org, 2015)
Learning in a clinical setup is an important aspect of nursing education. Learning in a clinical environment is more complex and various factors like: preparation of a student to face a clinical experience, characters of clinical instructor, and the opportunity provided to students affects learning outcomes in a clinical environment (McDonald, 2010). SWOT analysis can help as an assessment factor to identify the effectiveness of teaching and learning in a clinical environment. Planning and setting up measure are important outcomes of the assessment process. (Thobaben, 2005)
Conclusion: Mentoring is essential step to becoming a quality nurse. The main challenge of mentoring to help students achieve high standards in nursing practice that is expected of them. It is not necessary that all students possess equal capability to learn and understand. Special attention to underachieving students will help them succeed and move ahead in career. A student’s interest in the subject has an important influence on learning process. A mentor must ensures that students gains and retains interest in the subject. This will make teaching and learning a less tiring process. Providing the right learning environment can help students to develop the required clinical skills. (Nursingtimes.net, 2008)
Anderson, L. (2011). A learning resource for developing effective mentorship in practice. Nursing Standard, 25(51), pp.48-56.
Gopee, N. (2008). Mentoring and supervision in healthcare. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
Harvard Graduate School of Education, (2015). Learning and Teaching. [online] Available at: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/masters/lt [Accessed 30 Jun. 2015].
Hinchliff, S. (2004). The practitioner as teacher. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Honey, P. and Mumford, A. (1992). The manual of learning styles. Maidenhead: P. Honey.
Journeytoexcellence.org.uk, (2015). Learning and teaching - THE JOURNEY TO EXCELLENCE. [online] Available at: http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/ learningandteaching/ [Accessed 30 Jun. 2015].
Jtln.org, (2015). Teaching and Learning in Nursing. [online] Available at: http://www.jtln.org/ [Accessed 30 Jun. 2015].
McDonald, P. (2010). Transitioning from Clinical Practice to Nursing Faculty: Lessons Learned. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(3), pp.126-131.
Nursingtimes.net, (2008). Top teaching tips for nurses. [online] Available at: http://www.nursingtimes.net/top-teaching-tips-for-nurses/1568385.article [Accessed 30 Jun. 2015].
Rassool, G. and Rawaf, S. (2007). Learning style preferences of undergraduate nursing students. Nursing Standard, 21(32), pp.35-42.
Thobaben, M. (2005). Transitioning From Hospital-Based Nursing Practice To Home Health Care Practice. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 17(5), pp.413- 415.
Teaching the history of each subject, will help the learner form ideas about how scientific concepts evolved around the existing society norms, and how they were challenged and refined with time. Teachers must provide priority for clear oral and written communication of all students. The students must be encouraged to express themselves clearly. This is very important aspect of scientific teaching. Teachers can encourage team work, by arranging group activities in the classroom. Team events will help in developing a common understanding, team responsibility and communication.
All aspect of science teaching is not concerned with doing things and finding out. Such an approach will make it difficult to transfer the scientific knowledge that has accumulated over the years. Teaching methods must provide a knowledge on the existing scientific development and also encourage a scientific mind. Very often it is necessary to memorize certain vocabularies or words that are important in scientific communication. To concentrate wholly on these technical terms or vocabulary is to distract a student from the understanding process associated with science, and hence a teacher must promote memorizing only those terms that are necessary to clarify thinking and promote effective communication.
Curiosity, creativity, imagination and beauty are all characteristic feature of a scientific endeavor and teacher must ensure that students encounter such experience in their classes. Recognizing and rewarding students who possesses creativity will encourage more students to participate.