PRAXIS:  "The action and reflection of people upon their world in order to transform it."

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Learning to be a Nurse – The contribution of the Hidden Curriculum in the Clinical Setting 

Janine Mayson, RGON, B.A. (Canterbury University), A.D.N. (Auckland Technical Institute)

Wendy Hayward, RGON, B.A. (Canterbury University), A.D.N. (Christchurch Polytechnic) 

Reference: Mayson, J., & Hayward, W., (1997) Learning to be a Nurse – The contribution of the Hidden Curriculum in the Clinical Setting Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 12(2), 16-22 

 Introduction 

Student learning is traditionally based around the philosophy and objectives of a stated curriculum.  A curriculum, however, is many faceted.  While the philosophy and objectives are written, and therefore freely accessible, this overt or legitimate curriculum is not the whole curriculum.  Robinson and Hill (1995) identify three components; the taught curriculum, the hidden curriculum and the wider social context of nursing education.  The taught curriculum deals with theoretical concepts.  The hidden curriculum involves the experience, and application of theory and the wider social context relates to the practice environment.  Although these three components make a nursing curriculum they are not necessarily integrated.  Martins (1988) and Kelly (1991) found mismatches between the professional values learned in the classroom and how students were expected to put these values into practice in a clinical setting. Continued…

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