Journal of Nursing Education

Learning to Lecture: Exploring the Skills, Strategies, and Practices of New Teachers in Nursing Education

Patricia Young, PhD, RN; Nancy Diekelmann, PhD, RN, FAAN



A common experience among new teachers is learning how to lecture. Lecturing is a skill, a strategy, and a practice. As a skill, lecturing is learned over time. For example, teachers learn how to select content to hold students' attention. Lecturing is a strategy teachers use when they want to efficiently cover a great deal of content. In addition, it is a practice that has shared meanings, practical knowledge, and language. Exploring how new teachers learn to lecture clarifies the nature, meaning, and significance of lecturing in nursing education. The study described in this article used Heideggerian hermeneutic analyses to explicate the common experiences (i.e., themes and patterns) of new nurse teachers. Learning to Lecture as a theme is described, and implications for teacher preparation and future research are offered.



A common experience among new teachers is learning how to lecture. Lecturing is a skill, a strategy, and a practice. As a skill, lecturing is learned over time. For example, teachers learn how to select content to hold students' attention. Lecturing is a strategy teachers use when they want to efficiently cover a great deal of content. In addition, it is a practice that has shared meanings, practical knowledge, and language. Exploring how new teachers learn to lecture clarifies the nature, meaning, and significance of lecturing in nursing education. The study described in this article used Heideggerian hermeneutic analyses to explicate the common experiences (i.e., themes and patterns) of new nurse teachers. Learning to Lecture as a theme is described, and implications for teacher preparation and future research are offered.

Developing a lecture is a common experience for new teachers, and presenting their first lecture is often a memorable event. Not all new teachers have had coursework, teaching practica, or teaching assistant experiences in preparation for teaching, but every new teacher has a wealth of experiences es a student observing teachers lecturing. In teacher preparation courses, students often are taught to prepare lectures by identifying the outcomes for learning and the content to be taught. Boice (1992) reported that new teachers have generally equated good teaching with presenting organized content. In contemporary nursing education, lecturing remains the predominant style of teaching, especially in associate degree and undergraduate education. Lecturing is an efficient way to provide students with significant amounts of content (i.e., detailed explanations of nursing phenomena) to prepare them to safely enter nursing situations.

Lecturing also may be a way for teachers who are new or less experienced with the course and content to keep the discussion focused. For example, writing out lectures "word for word" is not uncommon among new teachers. Olsen end Soreinelli (1992) reported that new teachers are unlikely to pursue tangents or welcome questions in class. However, as new teachers develop confidence in their ability to lecture, they increasingly concern themselves with students' interests, skills, and abilities. Lenze end Dinham (1999) also noted that new teachers initially have limited repertoires for interacting with students to understand what students already know.

The purpose of this article is to explicate the theme Learning to Lecture, which was identified in an interpretive phenomenological study exploring the common experiences of new nurse teachers (Young, 1999). Seventeen teachers with 2 or fewer years of experience teaching in associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree programs in nursing were asked to tell a story about an experience of being a new teacher in nursing. These teachers commonly included their reflections on learning to lecture. The audiotaped interviews were transcribed and analyzed hermeneutically to identify the relational themes and patterns among the common meanings interpreted from the new teachers' experiences. New teachers' descriptions of their experiences provide new insights into the nature, meaning, and significance of lecturing in nursing education as a skill, strategy, and practice. The emergence of new ways of understanding learning to lecture is useful for teacher preparation in nursing education. Some of the other themes identified in this study were Learning the Community Norms, Identifying the Limits and Boundaries of Classroom Involvement, Mentoring as a Community Experience, and Managing the Competing Demands of Students and Chents.


TABLEConcernful Practices of Schooling Learning Teaching


Concernful Practices of Schooling Learning Teaching

This study extends Diekelmann's interpretive phenomenological scholarship on the common experiences and practices of students, teachers, and clinicians in nursing education by interviewing a subset of teachers- new teachers (Diekelmann, 2000, 2001; Diekelmann & Diekelmann, 2002). Teaching and learning, like nursing, are practices. Diekelmann has identified common practices that become evident in the teaching and learning experiences of students, teachers, and clinicians. Called the Concernful Practices of Schooling Learning leaching (Table), these practices provide a new language for interpreting, reflecting on, and understanding the experiences of students, teachers, and clinicians. The language of the concernful practices is often so common that it is overlooked. However, using new language, in this case to explicate new teachers' experiences of learning to lecture, provides a rich, thought-provoking understanding of this everyday experience. In the explication of the theme Learning to Lecture (and in this sentence), the concernful practices, where not already identified as such, are italicized to help readers attend to them.


Participants were recruited from national and state professional nursing meetings or conferences by referral from colleagues or other participants and self-referral. The mix of teachers (8 master's prepared, 6 doctorally prepared, and 3 in progress with doctoral preparation) reflects all levels of contemporary nursing education. This research was approved for human subjects research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Unstructured audiotaped interviews were conducted after receiving informed consent and assuring participant confidentiality. The audiotaped interviews were transcribed, and names were replaced with pseudonyms, which were used throughout both data analysis and reports. The data for this study consisted of the transcribed interview texts. The texts were analyzed hermeneutically using multiple stages of interpretation to identify the common experiences and shared practices and meanings of being contemporary new nurse teachers.


The interpretive phenomenological approach to research was introduced to nursing by Benner (1984, 1994) and is directed toward understanding contemporary ways of being human in particular contexts. Therefore, it is particularly suited to the exploration of teaching, learning, and nursing in the context of being a new teacher. This approach to inquiry, arising from the philosophical writings of Heidegger, provides interpretations of everyday human experiences to more fully understand the richness and complexity, which often is identified as simple and, therefore, overlooked (Diekelmann & Ironside, 1998a). Interpreting everyday situations aims to uncover otherwise inconspicuous common experiences and shared meanings of practices that are always embedded in sodai, historical, and cultural contexts (Heidegger, 1927/1962), rather than to create theory in a decontextualized, objective framework.

The hermeneutic approach to text analysis, which is a reflective, reflexive, circular process, is best, or perhaps can only be, experienced. Attempting to describe it as a method in the traditional sense gives this approach a linearity that belies the complex, fluid, interwoven nature of the experience. However, a reflective account of the hermeneutic method reveals an attention to rigor and the deep engagement of the researcher in the process. The hermeneutic approach used in this study is only briefly summarized here. The literature provides more detailed descriptions of the approach for interested readers (Baker, Norton, Young, & Ward, 1998; Benner, 1994; Diekelmann, 2001; Diekelmann & Ironside, 1998a, 1998b).

In this study, hermeneutical analyses were completed in part by a research team. Data analysis began with each member of the research team reading the interview text and writing an interpretation of the account. Interpretation may begin with a simple retelling of the story. However, a more complex interpretation attempts to capture what stands out for the interpreter and brings it into conversation with preunderstandings. Team members identified and described themes (i.e., broad, general descriptions of recurring experiences) using excerpts from the interview text to provide data supportive of an interpretation. Team members also could identify patternsthe highest level of hermeneutic anelysis. A pettern does not ettempt to say whet is or to prescribe or explain, but describes en understanding of how themes meaningfully relate to each other.

The research team met weekly to read aloud members' written interpretations; to challenge and clarify analyses; and to attempt to reach e hermeneutic understanding of some of the common meanings of being e new teacher. If disagreement arose among the interpretations, team members provided extensive documentation from the interview texts to support the description of themes. Just as each team member's understanding of a text was shaped by the preunderstandings brought to interpretations, subsequent texts were viewed through a lens of understanding shaped by previous texts. Interpretations reflected what went before, and a text could be reinterpreted in light of new understandings. Interpretations previously generated were returned to and studied to determine whether similar or contradictory interpretations were present. This cyclical nature of understanding is part of the hermeneutic circle method of analysis.

To help explicate and challenge the narrative interpretations and reach a deeper level of understanding, research team members reviewed relevant literature from conventional, critical, feminist, phenomenological, and postmodern pedagogies, and brought it into converging and contesting conversations with the phenomenological interpretations generated. In this way, the team used extant literature as background to critique, extend, support, or challenge the themes identified using interpretive phenomenology.

Research team members, as well as two interpretive nurse researchers, who weTe not members of the team, and two new teachers, who were unfamiliar with the content and research method but who, as new teachers, were likely to be interested readers of the study, were asked to review the written data analysis for agreement, contextuelity. coherence, and comprehensiveness (Plager, 1994). Providing opportunities to confirm, extend, or chellenge the analyses in this way exposed unwarranted or implausible interpretations not supported by the data (Draper, 1996). The exemplars (i.e., text excerpts) in this report capture the experiences of contemporary new teachers and encourage readers to validate the findings and evaluate the rigor of the hermeneutical analyses. The potential of the study to convert information into useful practice or to change future events lies in the hands of the readers (Baker et al., 1998; Steeves & Kahn, 1995).


A new teacher, who will be called Darla, described her first lecture and showed how her approach to teaching emerged from her past experiences with conventional pedagogy as a student. She recently had completed a master's degree that included teacher preparation coursework in education and curriculum development and currently was teaching medical-surgical nursing to second-year students in an associate degree program. Relying on the principles of conventional pedagogy she had learned in her teaching course, specifically that content builds sequentially on previous learning, Derla prepared her lecture on the assumption that students would have an understanding of air exchange in the lungs from their previous anetomy and physiology courses, which were prerequisites for the course she was teaching. Darla related:

I went in on the assumption that they [students] remembered their anatomy and physiology and they understood gas exchange. And I kind of [sic] thought maybe they might have some trouble with blood gases, bo I started there, and then I realized that they didn't even know blood gasea. I gave them a quiz, and then I kept hearing all these sighs that, "Oh, this is terrible. This is awful." [And I gave] simple problems. I didn't give them compensated [complex] ones. I gave them just straightforward; it was respiratory acidosis or metabolic acidosis. Those kind of problems. And so then we went over the quiz, and a lot of them, they just told me they didn't have a due.

Using the approaches Darla leerned in her teeching course, she constructed a quiz to assess students' prior learning. By listening to students complain during the quiz, Darla began to grasp that the quiz failed to provide her with a good understanding of the students' knowledge base.

Administering tests is one way teachers essess student knowledge in large lecture classrooms. However, thinking about quizzing as e strategy to assess knowledge perhaps speciously simplifies the matter. Quizzing students can help teachers identify what students do not know, but this strategy does not necessarily reveal what students do know. For example, Darla learned that her students did not understand simple blood gases, which may have been helpful information. However, she did not learn the extent to which students did understand lung physiology or from what point to base her lecture. In other words, giving a quiz did not really help Darla identify where she should begin with her students. The knowledge the students brought to the classroom was not yet visible to Darla.

Not only does viewing quizzing as a lecture strategy obscure the skills involved in assessing student knowledge, it also prevents exploration of the meaning of quizzing as an experience for students. What does it mean to students that they fail to provide the correct answers to a quiz at the beginning of a new course? Does it mean they are unprepared to take the course and will fail? Does it mean their previous course was inadequate or inadequately taught because they have no recall of content they were expected to have learned and retained? Exploring the meaning of quizzing as a distinct experience challenges this too-often used but taken for granted and unexamined practice in ways viewing it es e lecture strategy does not. Nurse educators need to question whether quizzing and testing have become too prevalent in nursing education. Assessment has begun to claim center stage in many courses and nursing curricula (Tanner, 2001).

This is not to say that beginning teachers should never quiz or test students, rather that exploring the meaning of these experiences to both students and teachers is necessary to reveal the dangers and possibilities in this common practice. As an experience, assessing learners reflects the concernful practices of knowing and connecting (or not knowing and not connecting) with students. Often teachers try to get to know and connect with students by obtaining information about what students remember of previous course content. Teachers describe this practice as "figuring out where students are at." Knowing and connecting with students is essential for new teachers to discover what students bring to learning situations (Grant & Murray, 1999; Hanson & Smith, 1996), and listening with care is central to knowing students (Grant & Murray, 1999). However, the experience of being assessed (i.e., the practice of quizzing) also can be one of disconnecting and breakdown, as Darla's situation demonstrates.

The concernful practices are enacted in both positive and negative ways. Knowing and connecting practices can be experienced as sustaining and empowering or as oppressive and frightening. Although Darla attempted to connect with the students by listening to them, she could have jeopardized her connections by giving a quiz. According to Boice (1996), quizzing can disturb students and build mistrust in them for teachers. The meaning of quizzing for teachers also can include stereotyping (e.g., labeling students or a class as "bright" or "needing a lot of help"). In addition, according to Diekelmann (1992), the practice of testing students fosters teacher-centered learning, competition, and isolation among students, rather than the knowing and connecting of new partnerships essential to engendering communities.

Darla presenced herself as she listened and attended to the students' reactions to the quiz. Being open and listening are significant practices for new teachers that help identify what students already know. However, simply pitching the lecture to the knowledge level a quiz reveals for the greatest number of students- a precept of conventional pedagogy - is insufficient for skillful lecturing. Quizzing as a strategy was unchallenged by Darla, who focused on the students' knowledge of content in her struggle to improve her lecturing skills.

Being Open to Reflecting

However, Darla is open to reflecting on her experiences as she enters the practice of teaching. In contrast, consider another new teacher, who will be called Martha, who described her first semester of lecturing:

I tried [to make lecture interesting] the first semester, but they had me teaching this course no one wanted to teach, while I am being told by everyone to be sure and publish my dissertation. So I tried to prepare and did a few different things like a short writing assignment and had some case studies, but I was spending all my time getting ready to teach, and I knew that next semester I would have another new course. It was crazy, so I just straight lectured from the book... told the students what they needed to know and said the heck with it. My evale [evaluations] were average and a little low on a couple items.... Some of the students who really marked me down were I knew [sic] the students who were getting Cs and Ds... so second semester when I had 22 students instead of 36, I still straight lectured, but I made sure that tests were simple and the students happy.... At the end, my department Chair told me that I was doing a much better job and improving my teaching, and she was really happy with how I was doing. It's all in how you play the game of getting tenure. I want to do research and get a big grant, and there will never be time for me to spend on teaching. Learning how to teach is too time consuming to do while you are learning how to become a researcher. . .and everyone knows this is true... otherwise why would there be so many lousy researcher teachers? If being a good teacher was so important, why didn't my doctoral program insist I learn how to teach?

Unlike Darla, Martha is closed to increasing her expertise in teaching through the practice of reflecting on her teaching experiences. Having had poor evaluations, Martha took measures to keep her job but had no time to spend "learning how to teach." Consumed with developing her expertise as a researcher, Martha failed to hone her skills in lecturing, an activity she considers to be in competition with her becoming a researcher. Martha's narrative shows facets of learning to lecture not revealed in Darla's story.

Attending to Learning

In this study, while discussing the competing demands on their teaching, many new teachers focused on teaching, rather than on learning. However, in higher education, the focus increasingly is on learners and learning, rather than teachers and teaching (Edgerton, 1997). As Menges (1990) pointed out, while "most teaching occurs in the classroom, most learning does not. Learning may occur in any setting where learners encounter the subject matter of study" (p. 107). Amey (1999) contended that faculty roles are changing toward the primacy of learning in academic communities. For example, the emergence of new technology for distance education compels teachers to pay attention to how students learn or fail to learn at a distance. Although Darla began with a focus on her teaching, she shifted her concerns toward student learning when she had to reconstruct the lecture because she "didn't hit the level [students] were at" when she first started lecturing. She related how she had to "go back to the drawing table and regroup... because [she] didn't know that they didn't know." Darla continued her story.

And then I had a diagram thing I put up on the board, and I was explaining to them [students] how it worked and, well, first of all that day was not a good day. The overhead [projector] light bulb was out, so I couldn't do that. And then they got another overhead in there and that light bulb was out too, so I couldn't do that. So I'm drawing on the board, and I also was drawing an oxyhemoglobin curve and that was a fun one to explain, drawing it on the board, but I was going over this diagram, and then it was kind of like they [students] kind of got all excited that some of them were getting it,.. .that said, "Oh I never figured this out before" with this diagram I had on there and how I was going over it. I just took a whole bunch of blood gases and just kept throwing them out to them with the numbers, and they kept plugging them into the little formula I had there and then a lot of them were finally getting it. And then we went to talking about ARDS [adult respiratory distress syndrome], and I blew them away [sic] again. [Students said,] "What are you talking about? Where are you going?" It was like oh no [sic]. I can't use the overheads because the thing won't work, [and I] had some illustrations I thought would help, and then Tm drawing things on the board, and I'm trying to explain oxygen affinity and the hemoglobin and this too, and I had to kind of [sic] back up there and go back to the drawing table and regroup later after that particular day because I didn't know that they [the students] didn't know.

Connecting with students in lecture situations helps new teachers construct and cultivate future learning experiences and assemble their lectures and new courses. Darla paid attention to how students experienced learning through a quiz and changed her teaching strategy. She created conversations with students by questioning and diagramming information. She learned the nuances of calling forth preunderstendings in new contexts. Despite a potentially overwhelming teaching situation due to equipment failures, Darla engaged the students in dialogue, end they began to understand blood gases. When Darla presented examples for practice, thinking was called forth as she connected with the students and knew "a lot of them were finally getting it." There was excitement in the classroom as students who had "never figured this out before" were "plugging [numbers] into the little formula" calculating (i.e., writing) blood gas problems, as well es understanding the oxyhemoglobin curve for the first time. However, the excitement was short-lived because Darla moved on to talk about another difficult topic for students and lost her connection with them.

One of the skills of lecturing is reading the faces of students (Diekelmann, 2002b). By interpreting a learning situation through reading the students' faces, Darla was aware she "blew them awey again." Darla realized that she again lost her connection with what the students knew and that for the next lecture she would have to "go back to the drawing table and regroup."

Reading Classroom Situations

Darla's story demonstrates how new teachers learn to know and connect with students and to design learning experiences by dialoguing and reading classroom situations. New teachers often try to stay connected with their students, and es they connect or do not connect, they design a new lecturing strategy or continue to use the same one. This involves exploring content or information with students until a point of connection is discovered (i.e., a common ground or something everyone knows). It means that new teachers attempt to meet students where they are and then lead them, calling forth engagement in learning content to reach new understandings. That is not to say that all new teachers are consciously aware of seeking ways to know and connect with students so learning occurs. A new teacher may be unresponsive and fail to attend to reading students' faces and not connect with students. More commonly, as in Darla's story, lecturing is a back-and-forth play of connecting and not connecting with students.

Unlearning Teacher Preparation

Lecturing is also e skill, end how new teachers construct and deliver the lecture matters. Earlier in her interview narrative, Darla recounted how, despite the "preparation" for teaching she obtained in graduate school, she did not feel "prepared" to teach. What are the skills, strategies, and practices necessary to prepare nurse educators for research-based teaching? Darla intuitively managed, using her past nursing skills of knowing how to read and reflect in situations, to ascertain the patient's perspective. Like Darla, another new teacher, who will be called Terrell, described how he was unprepared for his first year of lecturing, despite having taken two courses in teacher preparation. He related:

In school we had this course where you had to do a lesson plan and then videotape your presentation and go over it in class. So I thought I was prepared until I started to lecture and see... I took a job in an associate degree program, and I had student taught baccalaureate students, so of course, I guess I was too hard... too much content. And I tried to cut back, and I used some of the test questions from the previous teacher, and 26% of the students failed the first exam... and then I had the students complaining and (begins to weep).. .then the students had a petition by midsemester saying I went too fast and wasn't prepared and couldn't answer their questions.... It wasn't true.... The students did not do their readings, and they time and time again would tali when I was talking. I had a lot of cheating, and I was afraid for my job. I remember the nice and clean lecture and lesson plan I made in graduate school. What a joke. ..the real world is nothing like that course!

Preparing for the Experience of Lecturing

How can teachers like Darla, Martha, and Terrell be better prepared in the skills, strategies, and practices of teaching, such as lecturing? How can they be better prepared for the experience of being new? Being open to reflecting as a new teacher helps improve new teachers' skills. Martha is closed to reflection, and Terrell is at a loss as to how to improve his lecture course. Darla's story shows a paradigm case of the interwoven nature of reflecting-in-action and reflecting-on-action (Schon, 1983) in designing learning experiences. This suggests that guided reflection could be an important component of teacher preparation practica experiences focused toward learning the skills, strategies, and practices of lerturing. In guided reflection, an experienced and open teacher could meet with a group of aspiring teachers and reflect with them on the situations that stand out for them in the classroom. This could occur whether the aspiring teachers are practicing lecturing or watching an experienced teacher lecture. This reflection may better prepare teachers like Terrell for the "real world" of lecture courses.

Teacher preparation coursework needs to include more than principles and theories of adult learning. Typically, content on how to prepare a lecture in a nursing education course focuses on selecting and organizing content to achieve outcomes. However, Darla's story reveals the importance of learning the skills of teaching, in particular the skills of lecturing and the background practices of interpreting, attending, connecting, and constructing. This study suggests that teaching aspiring teachers how to use the Concernful Practices of Schooling Learning and Teaching as a framework in course planning and organizing content may be a way to include knowledge of practices.

In teacher preparation courses, the emphasis is currently on skiUs of lecturing (i.e., developing and delivering the lecture), rather than on the practices of and reflection on the experiences of lecturing. The role of experience can be trivialized and rationalized in conventional approaches to teacher preparation, masking the way expertise commonly develops through practice. In conventional approaches, experience is viewed as a place to apply lecturing skills. Expertise develops through experience in practice situations (e.g., when Darla's expectation that students would recall previous course content was disconfirmed). In a phenomenological approach, experience is viewed as the result of challenging, refining, or disconfirming preconceived notions and expectations in actual situations (Benner, 1984).

Darla reflected on how her experience with equipment failure influenced her teaching, which, although anxiety provoking, ultimately enabled students to understand the subject. She related:

I remember I was trying to draw the lobes of the lung and the branches of the trachea, and I was getting it all cockeyed [and I was thinking], "they're never going to know what's in here." [Drawing] also makes you slow down, and when I'm nervous I talk very, very, very fast. I mean, I can talk fast enough on a regular day, but if I'm nervous I talk very, very fast, and then my voice will drop and get not as loud. And that wouldn't help either, so I had to work on the presentation style and then work on making it more interesting and simpler. And it seemed to me like the simpler it was, the more they could hook to it [sic]. Rather than give them the whole global concept of ARDS that it does this and this and this, back off and say, "this is how the air gets to the capillaries; what are you going to do and block it off?" Come from the other way.

Through this experience, Darla learned how to notice what shapes her teaching. Presentation style and use of media, such as an overhead projector diagram during a lecture, influences the learning experience. For example, Darla recognized that her anxiety increased in the face of the equipment breakdown and that she communicated her anxiety in her fast-paced style. Boice (1996) reported that fast-paced lectures disconnect teachers from students and negatively affect behavior in the classroom. However, Darla found that a consequence of this breakdown was that drawing on the board helped her become mindful of her presentation style. Although it was unintentional, Darla noticed it helped her slow down when she talked.

Being anxious about lecturing, especially when faced with equipment failures, is a common experience for new teachers. However, for inexperienced teachers, anxiety may prevent being able to read the situation and act in it (Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 1996). Darla's experience of "breakdown" (i.e., when nothing seemed to go right) paradoxically helped her "back off" and reflect on it (Schon, 1983). In addition, despite equipment failures and an anxiety-provoking situation, Darla learned the skiUs of pacing and timing.

Although Darla described using an overhead projector, increasing numbers of nurse teachers employ computerized images that aUow them to demonstrate concepts 4 using complex and sophisticated technologies. What are the skills of the latest technologies that new teachers need to enter nursing education? What happens when these complex technologies fail? Do new teachers need to be prepared with back-up strategies? How should future teachers be prepared for maintaining an up-to-the-minute knowledge base in the use of instructional technology in nursing education? Are new pedagogies needed when using instructional technologies?

Through her experiences, Darla began to learn how to deliver a lecture using conventional pedagogy. By understanding that she needed to break the content down into smaller parts, she then could help the students explore, examine, and see constituent relationships. Darla created the possibility for students to understand the material by "making it more interesting and simpler" so students could "hook to it." She learned to start with the components of a complex topic, such as ARDS, rather than present the "whole global concept" of it.

Challenging the Assumptions of Conventional Pedagogies

However, there is little in Darla's lecturing or her conversation on her lecturing that reflects new pedagogies (e.g., critical, feminist, phenomenological, postmodern). For example, Darla's conception of the need to simplify her presentation demonstrates another precept of conventional pedagogy-sequencing learning experiences from the simple to the complex. Challenging the taken-for-granted assumptions of conventional pedagogies is one way to create a place for new pedagogies (Ironside, 2001). For example, the postmodern discourses reveal and deconstruct the politics of difference in education. Darla may have explored how the emphasis of cognitive gain in her class challenges (or conversely, does not chaUenge) the modernist assumptions of knowledge, truth, objectivity, and rationality. Lectures would include an examination of knowledge in terms of its uses, limite, conditions, and construction (Ironside, 2001). Darla may have challenged assumptions by using critical pedagogy to explore her role of teacher-as-expert. For example, who decides what content is simple and complex or basic or essentiel in a course? Who writes the textbooks for nursing classrooms? Derla may have explored how to decenter herself as the authority or expert and work toward creating an egalitarian learning community.

Using feminist pedagogy, Darla may have challenged the ways her teaching reproduces the gendered nature of social and power relations in her classroom. From a phenomenological perspective. Darle would heve explored what it means to students to learn nursing phenomena in a logical, simple-to-complex order when they experience the provision of patient care as complex and often seemingly illogical and unpredictable. It does not appear that Darla is challenging conventional pedegogies or exploring new ones. This study highlights the need to include in teacher preparation courses and practica an exploration of the taken-for-granted assumptions of conventional pedagogies and the contributions of critical, feminist, postmodern, and phenomenological pedagogies to nursing education.


New teachers commonly report being inadequately prepared in the skills, strategies, and practices of lecturing. This study also revealed that the skills of lecturing are more complex than would appear at first. It is clear new teachers need different and better preparation to teech. This preparation must include both experiences in conventional pedagogies (e.g., outcomes, competency-based education, critical thinking frameworks, problem-based learning), as well as critical, feminist, postmodern, and phenomenological pedagogies. Learning to lecture demonstrates the significance for new teachers of gaining knowledge of alternative pedagogies, which, as Ironside (2001) noted, are more responsive to the changing educational milieu. In addition to the above-listed pedagogies, Diekelmann (2001) has conducted a 12-year study of how students, teachers, and clinicians teach and learn nursing practice and has described a narrative pedagogy. This is a research-based pedagogy generated from nursing research for nursing practice and education and, therefore, holds possibilities for preparing new nurse teachers in ways that matter for the discipline.

New pedagogies provide new languages, while they challenge the strategy of lecturing and its influence on inculcating the teacher-as-expert with power and control over student learning. The new pedagogies target community building and improving learning climates toward creating new partnerships. New epistemologies for nursing education, such as the Concernali Practices of Schooling, Learning, and Teaching, open up possibilities for innovation and change.

How can new teachers act as catalysts for innovation in the teaching practices of experienced teachers (Tatel, 1996Y? Recalling to the curriculum a place for "teacher telk," where experienced and new faculty reflect on their experiences together, would help and encourage teachers to scrutinize the pedagogies they are using and the assumptions underpinning their practices of teaching (Diekelmann, 2002a). In addition, faculty who teach teacher preparation courses need to increase their literacy in the new pedagogies. The issue of faculty receptivity to innovation must be researched to identify the issues that influence how teachers stay open to new discoveries end research from higher education and nursing education. In addition, research is needed to discover what makes teachers more receptive to learning to lecture and what encourages or discourages them as they work toward changing the learning climates in nursing schools.


This interpretive phenomenological study contributes practical knowledge to the science of nursing education. However, the science of nursing education remains lacking in sophistication to meet the challenges of actually teaching nursing. The National League for Nursing Blue Ribbon Panel calls for developing faculty competencies for acting in changing social, health care, and educational worlds; increasing the pedagogical literacy of faculty; and developing a research base for nursing education (Stevens & Valiga, 1999). Creating a science of nursing education could greatly influence learning to lecture and exploring the skills, strategies, and practices of new teachers in nursing education.


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