Concept-based curriculum: An interpretive study of efficacy and pedagogical usability



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This hermeneutic phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of nurse educators practicing within a concept-based curriculum (CBC). Given the significant change in the framework of the nursing content and the pedagogical model changes of a concept-based curriculum, nurse educator experiences have provided insight to the efficacy and pedagogical usability of this type of curriculum. Using an inductive process, a set of themes emerged that represented the participants’ meaning about working in a concept-based curriculum. The shared experiences of the nurse educators uncovered the overall essence of their world. This new truth uncovered four themes. The themes included 1) a need for change, which highlighted administration/faculty motivation for a radical shift in program teaching; 2) life during transition, which described the process faculty underwent as they worked to make program changes; 3) the teaching experiences, which focused on the faculty experience after the transition and 4) usefulness and efficacy, which addressed the faculties appraisal of the CBC. This research revealed that the faculty perception regarding the students’ ability to make clinical judgments was strengthened by the use of a CBC and conceptual teaching practices. They attributed this skill improvement to the introduction to clinical judgement earlier in the curriculum and frequency of practice throughout the curriculum as a factor.
Findings suggest that the transition of the adoption of the curriculum is difficult at best. After proper training and time to practice, the faculty found the curriculum to be efficacious and the pedagogical model useful in preparing students for entry level practice. The study elicited possible actions by nurse educational leaders that will make the transitioning into concept-based curricula less arduous. Findings from this study can provided guidance for future adoption of concept-based curricula.



Concept-based curriculum