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NURS FPX 6105 Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity

Student Name

Capella University

NURS-FPX 6103 The Nurse Educator Role

Prof. Name

Date

Learning Theories and Diversity

Designing a teaching plan for a diverse group of learners necessitates careful consideration and application of relevant educational theories. This task becomes particularly critical in the context of nursing education, where students often represent a broad spectrum of ages, cultural backgrounds, and previous healthcare experiences. For this specific teaching plan, the intended audience will be community college ADN nursing students, and the topic of instruction will be stress management.

Acknowledging this diversity also enriches the educational experience, promoting inclusivity and cultural competency among future healthcare professionals. Consequently, the teaching plan designed in this assessment is founded on Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Learning Theory, a theory that recognizes the significance of social interactions in the learning process and seems particularly apt for a diverse group of nursing students.

Identification of a Learning Theory: Sociocultural Learning Theory

The Sociocultural Learning Theory, founded on the work of Lev Vygotsky, has been selected as the theoretical basis for the teaching plan on stress management for ADN Nursing students. This theory postulates that the sociocultural environment significantly influences cognitive development, with learning occurring through social interactions and cultural experiences (Taber, 2020). Within the context of nursing education, this theory is particularly impactful due to the inherent diversity within the student body in terms of age, cultural background, previous healthcare experiences, and more.

Given this diversity, the concept of the ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD), a key component of Vygotsky’s theory, is highly applicable. ZPD refers to the difference between what learners can do independently and what they can achieve through guidance and collaboration with others (Oliveira et al., 2023). In a diverse nursing student body, students’ ZPDs would vary, making it crucial to use collaborative learning strategies to maximize their learning potential. Furthermore, through collaboration, students can learn from their peers, thereby promoting knowledge construction within their ZPDs, which is important for understanding and managing stress in nursing practice.

NURS FPX 6105 Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity

Furthermore, studies highlight the advantages of Vygotsky’s theory in nursing education. A study indicates that learning in collaborative environments can foster a sense of community and facilitate the sharing of diverse perspectives, enhancing students’ comprehension of complex nursing concepts. The collaborative learning advocated by Vygotsky’s theory caters to the needs of diverse learners, promoting inclusivity, and creating a safe space for interactive and reflective learning about stress management. Hence, the Sociocultural Learning Theory is selected for this nursing education course (Su & Zou, 2020).

Justification for Sociocultural Learning Theory and Contextual Appropriateness

The Sociocultural Learning Theory’s suitability is demonstrated by its emphasis on social interactions and the cultural context of learning, which are particularly relevant in nursing education. Nursing is inherently a social profession that demands collaboration, teamwork, and communication, echoing the theory’s underpinnings. The nursing students, who themselves come from a range of backgrounds and bring diverse perspectives to the learning environment, align well with the theory’s stress on utilizing diversity as a valuable learning resource (Valderama‐Wallace & Apesoa‐Varano, 2020).

Moreover, the theory’s emphasis on collaborative learning is especially beneficial in fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills in nursing students (Su & Zou, 2020). Such skills, imperative to the complex healthcare environment, can be honed through collaborative learning, where students learn to synthesize different perspectives, engage in meaningful discussions, and generate solutions to complex health problems collaboratively.

NURS FPX 6105 Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity

Comparatively, an alternative learning theory like “Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory” might not be as effective. While Piaget’s theory provides a valuable framework for understanding cognitive development, its focus on individual cognitive stages could limit its applicability in a diverse learning environment such as a nursing course. The theory’s emphasis on solitary exploration of concepts might not facilitate the level of interaction necessary to prepare students for real-world nursing practice where teamwork and collaboration are vital (Hanfstingl et al., 2019).

Additionally, Piaget’s theory might not fully account for cultural and experiential diversity in learning, a key consideration in nursing education. Given the diverse experiences, backgrounds, and cultures of the nursing students, a learning theory that supports such diversity is necessary. In this regard, Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Learning Theory, with its emphasis on social interaction and cultural context, offers a more robust framework for the nursing education course.

Diversity of the Intended Group of Learners

The nursing students for this educational program on stress management embody a wide array of diversity which is characterized by varying ages, cultural backgrounds, prior healthcare experiences, and even differing levels of digital literacy. Each of these diversity dimensions contributes to the unique learning dynamics in this context.

First, the age diversity, encompassing traditional-age students and mature learners, brings differing learning styles and preferences. While younger students might be comfortable with digital technology, older students bring life experiences and perspectives that can enrich classroom discussions (Smith et al., 2023). The blend of traditional and non-traditional students contributes to a richer and more inclusive learning environment.

Secondly, the cultural diversity among the students introduces varying worldviews, belief systems, and healthcare perspectives, thus enriching the cultural competence of the entire class. This diversity provides a broader range of experiences and perspectives to draw upon in classroom discussions, case studies, and problem-solving exercises, promoting a more inclusive and culturally sensitive nursing practice (Valderama‐Wallace & Apesoa‐Varano, 2020).

NURS FPX 6105 Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity

Thirdly, students’ prior healthcare experiences, which could range from home care to clinical settings, contribute to a depth of understanding and application of theoretical knowledge. These diverse experiences, when shared, could provide real-life insights, facilitating a more applied learning approach to stress management (Oliveira et al., 2023).

Lastly, the significance of this diversity lies in its ability to promote critical thinking, problem-solving, cultural competence, and inclusivity in nursing education. Smith (2023) emphasizes the enriching role of diversity in enhancing learning experiences. Furthermore, Oliveira et al. (2023) illustrate that diverse classrooms can bolster critical thinking skills among students, thereby producing culturally competent healthcare professionals.

Evidence-Based Strategies for Managing Conflicts in a Diverse Classroom

The inherent diversity within the classroom, while enriching the learning environment, may give rise to conflicts stemming from differing viewpoints, cultural misunderstandings, and generational gaps. To manage these conflicts effectively, several evidence-based strategies have been identified.

The first strategy involves the implementation of transformative learning, a theory originally proposed by Mezirow. For stress management in nursing, transformative learning can be crucial as it encourages students to challenge and rethink their existing beliefs about stress and its management techniques, which may vary significantly due to their diverse backgrounds. This process encourages learners to challenge and rethink their existing beliefs and assumptions through critical reflection and open discourse (Wang et al., 2019). By fostering an environment that promotes questioning and challenges existing paradigms, students can gain an understanding of differing perspectives, leading to a reduction in conflict. Furthermore, transformative learning encourages students to actively participate in dialogue, promoting conflict resolution through conversation and shared understanding (Smith et al., 2023).

NURS FPX 6105 Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity

The second strategy focuses on fostering cultural competence among students. In the context of a stress management course, it’s important to understand that notions of stress and coping mechanisms can vary greatly across different cultures. To do this, educators can incorporate various activities such as intercultural workshops, diversity simulations , and reflective writing assignments, as recommended by Brottman et al., (2019). Such activities can encourage students to explore, understand as well as appreciate the cultural differences and similarities among them. This increased cultural competence can minimize misunderstandings and conflict stemming from cultural disparities, fostering a more inclusive and harmonious learning environment.

Another strategy is peer mediation, where trained students help mediate conflicts among their peers. This approach can be especially beneficial in a stress management course where students, dealing with their own stress, can effectively understand and help resolve conflicts related to stress management techniques. This approach also empowers students to manage and resolve conflicts independently, fosters a sense of ownership and community, and can be particularly effective in a diverse classroom. Peer mediation not only aids in immediate conflict resolution but also equips students with crucial negotiation and interpersonal skills for their future careers. Moreover, it underscores the value of peer relationships, reinforcing the idea that a diverse classroom is a supportive and collaborative ecosystem rather than a breeding ground for conflicts (Ay et al., 2019).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the complexities inherent to teaching in a diverse environment are considerable, but with the correct application of learning theories and strategies, these challenges can become opportunities for growth and development. The application of Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Learning Theory provides a framework for fostering a sense of community and collaboration amongst a diverse group of nursing students. While the diversity of the group may present potential for conflicts, the evidence-based strategies of transformative learning, fostering cultural competence, and peer mediation can effectively manage and even reduce these conflicts.

Moreover, by recognizing and validating the richness brought by diversity in the classroom, we can create an inclusive learning environment that promotes critical thinking, cultural competence, and the capacity to deliver healthcare in diverse contexts. Ultimately, this approach to education in nursing does more than teach. It prepares students to become effective, compassionate, and culturally sensitive healthcare professionals.

References

Ay, S. Ç., Keskin, H. K., & Akilli, M. (2019). Examining the effects of negotiation and peer mediation on students’ conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. International Journal of Instruction, 12(3), 717–730. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1220189

Brottman, M. R., Char, D. M., Hattori, R. A., Heeb, R., & Taff, S. D. (2019). Toward cultural competency in health care. Academic Medicine, 95(5), 1. https://doi.org/10.1097/acm.0000000000002995

Hanfstingl, B., Benke, G., & Zhang, Y. (2019). Comparing variation theory with Piaget’s theory of cognitive development: More similarities than differences? Educational Action Research, 27(4), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2018.1564687

Oliveira, J., Cassandre, M. P., & Sara. (2023). Entrepreneurial learning based on the zone of proximal development. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, 251512742311791-251512742311791. https://doi.org/10.1177/25151274231179193

Smith, L. M., Villar, F., & Wendel, S. (2023). Narrative-based learning for person-centred healthcare: The Caring Stories learning framework. Medical Humanities. https://doi.org/10.1136/medhum-2022-012530

Su, F., & Zou, D. (2020). Technology-enhanced collaborative language learning: Theoretical foundations, technologies, and implications. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 35(8), 1–35. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2020.1831545

Taber, K. S. (2020). Mediated learning leading development—The social development theory of Lev Vygotsky. Springer Texts in Education, 277–291. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43620-9_19

Valderama‐Wallace, C. P., & Apesoa‐Varano, E. C. (2020). “The Problem of the Color Line”: Faculty approaches to teaching Social Justice in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs. Nursing Inquiry. https://doi.org/10.1111/nin.12349

Wang, V. X., Torrisi-Steele, G., & Hansman, C. A. (2019). Critical theory and transformative learning: Some insights. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 25(2), 234–251. https://doi.org/10.1177/1477971419850837

NURS FPX 6105 Assessment 1 Learning Theories and Diversity