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Keywords:

  • clinical teaching;
  • midwifery education

A group of expert educators, each with more than 20 years of experience in midwifery education, was asked to contribute a “pearl (or pearls) of wisdom” for clinical teaching. Despite minimal instructions regarding what type of wisdom was being solicited, remarkable similarities emerged from the educators' contributions. Themes included the need for self-evaluation to become a competent preceptor, the role-modeling function of the preceptor, the development of critical thinking in students, the need to appreciate students' varying learning styles and individual ways of functioning, and the use of positive reinforcement. Although these may seem like universally accepted concepts in clinical teaching, one contributor related stories she heard from students about “hazing” behaviors that have a negative impact on learning. This points to the need for ongoing education about being an educator, another theme echoed in several of the contributions.