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Evaluation and Nursing Education:  Where to Now?

Colleen De Vore, RGON, R.M., B.A., MCNANZ, Senior Lecturer, Manawaty Polytechnic

Reference: DeVore, C. (1993). Evaluation and Nursing Education:  Where to Now? Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 8(1), 16-24

Introduction

The problems of measurement in nursing cannot be dealt with in isolation.  To do so would be to fall into the reductionist empirico-analytical mode from which nurses are trying to emerge.  Measurement is not only a way o ‘ascertaining extent or quantity of [thing] by comparison with fixed unit or with object of known size’ (Oxford Dictionary, 1964:754) but it is a reflection of underlying philosophies, past inheritances, current beliefs (though not necessarily truths) and many myths and dogmas on which educational practices exist.  Measurement does not take place in a vacuum.  It is firmly embedded in its socio-political context.  The problem is now to untangle the web of possibilities, priorities and beliefs and find within them new possibilities, new opportunities and new ways of thinking.  However, this does not mean there is necessarily only one right way, just waiting to be uncovered nor that we should throw out all that is ole.  Rather it is time to reflect; a time to be open to new ideas, while critiquing the present ones.

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