An interpersonal-epistemological curriculum model for nurse education


  • Peter French PhD BA(Hons) DipN RGN RMN CPsychol FRSH,

    Principal Lecturer in Nursing Studies, Corresponding author
    1. Teesside Polytechnic, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England
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  • Dennis Cross MA BEd(Hons) BA(Hons) RGN RMH

    Senior Lecturer in Nursing Studies
    1. Teesside Polytechnic, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England
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Dr P French, Department of Health and Community studies Teesside Polytechnic, Borough Road, Middlesbrough, Cleveland TS1 3BA, England


This paper proposes a curriculum model for nurse education which holds forms of knowledge and interpersonal relationships as key issues if nurse education is to develop autonomous, reflective, critical practitioners By adopting areas of cognitive interest, principles of andragogy and the concept of reflection-in-action, the model provides a heuristic tool which attempts to enable the provision of a nurse education which is devoted to adult learning processes and relevent to the development of education in the practice setting The technical, practical and emancipatory areas of cognitive interest provide an understanding of learning domains which require different knowledge bases, methods of learning and forms of assessment to each other The pedagogy/andragogy dichotomy is presented to reflect two teaching paradigms The former approach is derived from the activity of teaching children and provides for passive dependence The latter is more appropriate to adult learning and student self-direction The model attempts to promote the transitional dynamic which moves the student nurse toward a state of greater self-direction Finally, the concept of reflection-in-action is discussed in an attempt to ensure that the areas of cognitive interest and the learning strategies are inextricably linked to the practice component of a professional nurse education All three dimensions are combined to show how each should develop in unison as the professional education of the nurse proceeds along a chronological dimension