Using adult learning theory, (where adults are self directed and learn best when enabled to set their own learning outcomes), can create hidden tensions when the curriculum is professionally regulated.
Its the regulator who sets the agenda and in effect prescribes what has to be learned. This is necessary because the standard needed to fulfill the role, (in this case Nursing), is external and needs to be consistent across the country.
For educators though this means that enabling the adult learner to set their own outcomes may be misleading. Mind you, once that notion has been established and is clear in the students mind then adult learning theory can still be used to guide the pedagogical choices of the teacher to best guide the student towards learning gain. Essentially achieving a competency is based on a single loop learning model where the learner “achieves” a competency: job done. However if we are also encouraging critical…
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