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Key Educational Concepts

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Introduction

Education is defined as a way of imparting knowledge to learners. Education is a voluntary act and learners should be willing to learn so as to participate in the learning process. There are various education systems in the world, but in most of them, the aims in which the education system is intended to achieve are the same. The process aims at achieving the following aims; a)production of knowledge and knowledgeable students, b)enlarging understanding, c)enlarging imagination, fostering growth and self realization, d) promoting upright moral thinking. These aims are what the entire stakeholder in the learning process aims to achieve. The people who are interested in the education process is the teachers, parents, learners and the community.

Overview of Education Concepts

Education concepts can be defined as the principal terms and processes in the education system. There are several concepts in the education system. Education is itself a key concept. Education system of a country is extremely beneficial in determining the concept of education. There are several education systems in the world. They include the United States of America education system, the French education system, the British education system. Depending on the   kind of education system in a country it can be judged as learner suffocating or enhancing. There are those systems of education that cramps the learners while others develop growth and self realization. In most cases, an education system should aim at promoting the aims which the education process intends to achieve.

The main concepts of education are adult learning theory, learning styles, special needs, diversity, teaching methods and child rearing methods.

Adult learning theory is the process where older   people are incorporated into a class and taught. It can also be the idea of young people learning from the older people who could be their mentors. Adult education is made meaningful by the load of experiences that they have been through. They always say that experience makes the best teacher. This is true because experience provides a more practical way of learning. An adult will be more advantageous in the learning process because when they put the sum of their experiences together. It provides them with reference points for learning, new applications and exploration. Learning begins with experience. This is to say that a person will learn from a situation that he has experienced. Learning starts when a response is needed in relation to an experience (Wadsworth, 2005).

It is almost impossible for a person to go through a certain situation and get out unchanged. It is, therefore, necessary that experiences are evaluated, and experimented for learning to begin.

Mentors provide a real experience base for learners. Learners tend to learn better through practical living than when they are totally inexperienced. A mentor is, therefore, a reinforcement of learning to the young. People tend to learn through the experiences of others. It is possible that some painful and hurtful experiences can be avoided if a person learns from another person who has gone through the same difficult situation.

Learning from a more experienced person provides a valuable learning forum and support network. Learning and listening to a mentor’s failures, successes and mistakes can help a learner to expand his knowledge base that will enable him succeed in this world. Adult learning, therefore, provides experiences to the learner that forms the required foundation for learning.

To a teacher the fact that a learner already has some experiences makes teaching more enjoyable to the educator. In other cases, an educator is well positioned when his learners has a small knowledge base for learning a particular topic. For example, a nurse educator has an advantage if his students have a small knowledge on basic first aid requirements. It provides him a base to begin teaching of what nursing is all about. The nurse educator that is if he has experienced some of the skills required can be better placed to teach his students well.

Learning styles is another concept in the process of education. Learning involves the transfer of knowledge from person to the other. In the learning process there are several styles that a learner can choose to use. The three main learning styles are the visual learning style, auditory and tactile learning styles. There is no meaningful way of mixing these styles. The styles are also not fixed. A learner can choose to use any of the styles depending on the situation. A learner can be using one learning style majorly but with a combination of other small learning styles. Sometimes also different circumstances call for different learning styles.

Visual learning style is best used by learners who learn best when ideas are presented to them in a visual format. The presentation can be in terms of notes, diagrams and pictures. These learners are comfortable with the teacher writing notes on a chalkboard. This style is used by most people with the exception of the visually challenged learners.

Auditory learning style is best used by learners who learn best when they participate in class discussions, listening to lectures, listening to audio tapes. It suits several people especially the visually challenged learners.

Tactile learning is learning by touching or feeling. These learners do best in a situation that requires a lot of touching and handling processes. They do best in areas like laboratory work where they will be required to handle items. These learners like to touch things that they are required to learn in order to facilitate effective learning.

Learners, therefore, can be termed as visual, auditory and tactile depending on the situation that they best apply these learning methods.

Learners will choose lectures, teachers, majors and ultimate careers that appeal to their unique way of learning. Educators, on the other hand, will choose learners that best fit the different learning styles. For example for nurse educators, the three learning styles are valuable because sometimes learners are required to see, hear or touch in order to learn. The teacher, on the other hand, is comfortable with the visual and auditory learning styles because he will be expected to give notes and sometimes lecture while the learners listen.

Teaching methods is another concept in education that requires careful analysis. A teacher can choose a teaching method depending on the kind of learners, their experiences and the environment. The teacher should choose a method that enhances the understanding and retaining information in learners. The several teaching methods include questioning, demonstrating, modeling, explaining and collaborating (Sims, 1995).

Questioning has been known to be effective in teaching. Learners can ask questions for clarification of concepts that will put doubt away and enhance more understanding. The teacher can question learners to ensure that the still remember information from previous discussions. This method is beneficial to both learners and educators. Learners can question to clarify the doubts that will further their understanding. Educators should encourage this in learners because it helps learners develop their cognitive skills.

Explaining is another teaching method that enhances better understanding of concepts. Learners benefit from this method when teaching is followed by clarification of facts in a logical manner. Teachers should explain information using clear examples so as to help learners gain more knowledge. Nurse educators should use vivid illustrations when teaching and also combine this with experiences. Explaining and using illustrations has a lasting effect on learners.

Collaborating is a teaching method that requires learners to participate in teamwork. The learners are taught in groups, and this ensures that learners take part in the whole discussion. This method encourages mutual responsibility in the part of learners. The learners develop some form of responsibility if they take part in the research process. The learner also acquires more information on the research topic because he is the one taking part in it (Saangali, 1998). It also ensures a long lasting effect on the part of the learner. The educator will find it easy to teach and instruct learners in groups. This is because the learners can explain to those who do not understand and they are in their groups. This will save the educator the time and energy he would have used. Nurse educators also benefit from this method because his learners can best be thought in groups.

These teaching methods are combined together with the learning styles to give a highly effective learning.

Special needs are another concept of education that has called for radical discussions. Learners have different needs that have to be catered for. These needs vary with each learning group. The children, adults and teens have different needs. There are also those learners who are physically or mentally challenged. Assessing of needs of each group of learners will help learners benefit from the education process. For example, adults are self assessors, goal oriented and experienced therefore the educator should be aware of these needs. Teens are considered to be rebellious, and, therefore, should be handled carefully.

Teachers should asses these needs before handling a group so that he can select a teaching method is best suited to all the learners. Once assessing these needs, teachers will not have a rough time handling a class. Nurse educators should know the needs of his students so that they deliver the content well (Reyes, 2004).

Diversity is another concept in the education system that is pertinent. Many people have been discriminated in the education system because of color, culture, religion or race.  It is therefore, necessary that these issues are addressed in the education system. Learners are seriously affected when they are discriminated in terms of their different backgrounds. Learners in this situation will not be active in class because they fear that whatever they might want to say might be ignored because of their race or color. Educators are also affected by this concept in a variety of ways.

Nurse educators should understand their learners’ background in order to deliver effectively. For example, in some cultures touching a dead body is a taboo. Nurse educators should consider the implications of this in the learner and also to his teaching. This will be effective for educators in handling patients and dealing with the entire community (Potts, 2002).

Patients in some cultures think that some diseases are due to a curse they were bestowed on by their forefathers. An educator should approach this subject with caution because some patients might refuse to be treated because of such believes.

Examination of the Educational concepts

These concepts are essential for the teacher and the nurse educator because of the implications that they have. For the teacher, understanding learners ensure effective learning process. The learners will acquire information and retain them. For instance, the teaching method that a teacher chooses will ensure that learners understand what is being taught.

The role of the nurse educator is to enlighten nurses, patients, families and the general population on ethics that surround them. The teaching methods are extremely valuable important for a nurse educator because learning will depend on the method chosen. Demonstration and questioning best fits this type of teaching because the learners can benefit from seeing and asking questions.

The diverse cultures also are necessary for the nurse educator. This is because, in educating patients, families and the whole population, there are some cultural values, and believes that will govern the code of conduct in such a society.

The specific needs assessment is also crucial for the nurse educators. This is because different needs for patients, families have to be catered. The educator will asses these needs and tries to give their teaching as much as it benefits each group in society.

There are several assumptions that people have concerning the different educational concepts. They include, a) learning involves organizing information b) learning is all about linking information to previous knowledge, c) learning occurs in steps d) learning is goal oriented. These assumptions have profoundly influenced my role as a nurse educator (Clark, 2007).

Taking for example, the assumption that learning is all about linking information to knowledge acquired previously is one assumption that has influenced my role as an educator. Learners bring into the classroom a lot of conceptions about several things in the world. These misconceptions shape the thinking of learners. For example, when educating nurses, some might be of the opinion that nursing is a tremendously dirty course. This could be from a result of initial experiences with nurses handling patients. 

This can impact the ability of nurse educators in a major way. The educator will have difficulty explaining to these people what nursing is all about. The patients or learners will take time understanding these concepts but when they do, they discard previous information and are willing to discover the truths of certain diseases or the career itself (Baumgartner, 2003).

The current educational and clinical method that is affected by these concerns is the method of demonstration. Demonstration can only be useful when all the learners are visual people. Some learners have a visual impairment and therefore cannot see what the nurses demonstrate. They therefore, miss points that could have been effective in their learning process.

Another method impaired is learning from past experiences. Learners that do not have any past experiences in the matter will be challenged.

Improvements that can be done with teaching methods is that the educators should move from the lecture type of teaching to a more practical way because information are best retained when situations are enacted practically. This is to say that handling situations practically is best for learners.

Conclusion

Education is a vital sector and a lot has to be done to improve it. The teaching methods like questioning, demonstration, collaboration are decisive factors in the education system. The learning styles like auditory, special needs, diversity and adult learning theories are reviews that are indispensable in the education system.

These concepts impact majorly on the teaching and the nurse educator careers. There are various recommendations that have been stated to help improve the educational and clinical methods (Barton, 2001).

Assumptions that have impacted on the nurse educator include learning through connecting previous knowledge to the present. This has an enormous effect because not all the learners have a past experience in all situations.

To summarize is that educational concepts play a significant role in developing the education system. Education is an extremely crucial sector, and it affects a majority of countries. For effective teaching and learning to take place, it is valuable that the concepts in education are carefully examined.

It is, therefore, beneficial that the stakeholders in an education system carefully relate these concepts in learning and allow the learner the freedom of choosing for himself what his career requires.

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