Journal Entry 1
This journal entry pertains to the following quote: “There are few educators who would disagree with the principle that lifelong learning is a good thing but the important questions are about the types of learning that the concept promotes, the life that it encourages us to lead, who benefits from this and the nature of the society that it upholds.” (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p. 20/21)
This quote caught my attention because it defined my own learning principle in life: “never stop learning”. I learned from an early stage of my schooling that nobody truly knew everything. Even physicians had their specialties in neurology, cardiology, psychiatry, oncology, and so on, so that they could become experts in that one particular area of medicine. Similar to nursing, we had different specialties such as critical care, surgical, medicine, psychiatric, pediatric, maternity, etc. I realized that when we all worked together as a team, we could help each other better understand other areas of health sciences that we were unfamiliar with. We learned from one another through collaborative team efforts. For example, when I worked as a discharge coordinator as well as a transitional service coordinator, I attended many interdisciplinary team meetings to discuss each patient’s unique and challenging case scenario. Each specialized healthcare team member would have an opportunity to share their understanding of the disease and how each could prognosticate the patient’s future situation based on the patient’s current clinical manifestations. Everyone would gain insight from each healthcare team member’s contribution. As a result, the team would agree upon planning a realistic care-plan for a particular patient, etc.
In hindsight, I realized this quote was relevant to my current teaching practice. I recalled showing my appreciation to one of my students, a former pharmacist from Iran, who presented his patient’s case scenario during post conference, using a technological application called Prezi. I was captivated by how this program works, as I had never encountered it before. He demonstrated a well organized presentation about his patient’s current diagnosis along with the description of the patient’s co-morbidities, care-plan, nursing assessments/interventions, and quizzes. I found this program to be interactive, which I thought was very effective. I was also inspired by the way my student’s style of teaching, and I learned from him. Then, I thought to myself that I could potentially use this program for my next group of students and try to see how they would respond to it as part of an interactive group activity. In the end, I realized I could incorporate this new technology into my future teaching, as I noticed its positive effect in capturing everyone’s attention in the room. Furthermore, this experience did benefit me, as I gained new knowledge from my recent adult student.
When I read this quote, I realized how important it is to acknowledge that lifelong learning is part of us as we grow old or as we change career or learn new things that we are passionate about. One insight that I now have as a result of this quote would be to pass on the wisdom to others who may think they are too old to learn new things or go back to school. As an adult educator, I believe everyone is entitled to better their life situation either by taking programs that are of high demand or certain hobbies that they never had the opportunity to acquire growing up. For example, I met a spokesperson, who changed careers in her early 50’s from an administrative role to nursing. I remember her statement: “Age is only a number; my body and mind are still able. My age never stops me from pursuing what I want to achieve in life.” This is a very inspirational statement to me and up to this date, I still remember her. While others may not necessarily want change, I think everyone, at the end of the day, makes their own personal choice if they want to gain new learning whether it is related to career or diverse interest such as musical instruments, sports, etc.
Reflecting on this quote, I could use the motivational speech that I indicated above to my adult learners, who I observe to be losing interest in the nursing program. I believe it is my duty, as a clinical nurse educator, to identify the cause of such changes in behaviour by speaking to individual students privately. I may need to get information from them so that proper actions or additional support could be offered in order for them to become successful in the course. I will continue to promote instructor-student engagement throughout the course and ongoing encouragement for those who need it. Overall, I think lifelong learning is important to include in our daily lives.