The Nature of Evidence in Teaching Practice

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A common thread in the educational literature is the recognition that teaching methods are appropriate for learners and that educators use the most effective teaching approaches. Unfortunately, the literature lacks a clear description of the evidence on which nurse educators base their teaching. Using a qualitative descriptive design, this study surveyed 14 nurse educators about the nature of the evidence they use in their teaching practices. Participants derived evidence from multiple sources and noted limited use of empirical research as a basis for teaching. An important consideration as to whether participants would modify their teaching was evaluation of that evidence. In addition, there were barriers and facilitators to the use of evidence. Based on the findings, a pluralistic view of evidence rather than any single source appears to be a preferable approach given the rapidly changing, dynamic nature of teaching practice and the nursing student population.

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