Tag Archives | education

Science of Learning – Part 2

By Emily Ip

This discussion question is a central theme in the field of nursing and medical education. Defining an expert vs. novice not only in a student’s learning practice but in a licensed medical practitioner is immense. The current learning method is “see one, do one, teach one”, yet, in my opinion, is a very poor way of instruction and challenges the learning/transfer theory that Bransford, Brown, and Cockings (2000) espouses. In the medical environment, the general thought is that the longer a person has been in practice the greater expert they become. This thought is flawed and has many layers.  Student nurses are closest to the textbook and studies grounded in current evidence-based practice. “Expert” practitioners are relying on medical information that they were taught when they were in school, which most likely was one to two decades prior. While they have their experiences that lead to their patient care decisions, they are more often not learned on new practices, new technology, or new research that has been distinguished.  When I am in the clinical setting with nursing students, often they find medical errors or new theories as to why the patient is ill.

Two of Bruning’s (2011) cognitive themes stand out for me regarding my professional practice. Bruning (2011) asserts that mental frameworks organize memory and guided thought. This can be seen in the structure of nursing curriculum and the need for new frameworks due to the fact that current methodologies are not keeping pace with the necessity for a modern nurse. As patient acuities continue to increase, present-day curriculum is not keeping pace. I agree with Bruning (2011) that developed frameworks can organize memory and guide thought, which is why new curriculum needs to be developed to direct reasoning for the 21st-century nurse.  The other Bruning (2011) theme that relates to nursing education would be the notion that extended practice is required to develop cognitive skills. This theme, I eluded to in the above paragraph. The current teaching modality of “see one, do one, teach one” directly contrasts Bruning’s (2011) theme. Learning skills that affect a patient’s care trajectory should be legitimatized by allowing a nursing student abundant time to hone and develop the skill so that it can solidify into deep cognitive concepts.


Teaching STEM using comic books and video games?

Adventures in Jet Propulsion - a comic book from the 1950's

Adventures in Jet Propulsion - a comic book from the 1950's (Image via Washington Post)

The Washington Post’s Innovations blog discusses the growing concern that not enough students in the US are doing well in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in school, and that will cause us to lag behind our international neighbors in those increasingly important fields.


One potential solution, however, comes from a previous era where motivating students to embrace science had quite a bit of success. You see, in the 1950’s, General Electric used comic books to do just that.

“Teachers, parents and lawmakers were bitter about newsstand comics in 1945,” General Electric Review wrote in September 1953. “But in the public relations field, although [we] were all aware of the adult fear that comic books were producing a crop of juvenile delinquents, we couldn’t escape the conclusion that the medium had attractive possibilities for mass communications.”

A modern analog? Using video games to do the same thing for the 21st Century child. It’s not a solution that a lot of parents may truly relate to, but parents in the 1950’s certainly weren’t consumers of comic books either.

Read more on this story at WashingtonPost.com


Robert Balfanz on Bloomberg Radio – Chronic Absenteeism

Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center, Hedy Nai-Lin Chang of Attendance Works, Marie Groark of the Get Schooled Foundation and Heidi Stevens of Schools Every Day, discuss chronic absences among early learners, its impact on school communities, and high school graduation rates. They talk with Jane Williams on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg EDU.”

Robert Balfanz – Bloomberg Radio


Is GOP front-runner Newt Gingrich guilty of flip-flopping his views on education?

Newt GingrichWith the election season fast approaching and candidates appearing on every medium that will have them to keep their names in the press, it’s worth examining what they have to say about issues close to your heart (in the interest of having an informed electorate).

Owing to his lengthy career, both as legislator and as political figure outside of elected office, Newt Gingrich has had numerous attempts to express his views on all things, including how the country should educate its children. But has he been consistent on those views?

Education Week’s Alyson Klein tackles the subject in a blog this week, comparing his views from the recent campaign trail with historical positions he’s taken. And the results don’t appear very consistent.

Recently, he has said he likes Race to the Top, but he has also said he things the Education Department should shrink (plus, there’s the time when, as Speaker of the House, he tried to lead the charge to scrap the department altogether).

Klein goes into far greater detail about Gingrich’s present and past views on public education. To read her full post, visit Education Week.