AffiliationCentre of Education, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland. firstname.lastname@example.org
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CitationA socio-cultural approach to learning in the practice setting. 2010, 30 (8):794-7 Nurse Educ Today
JournalNurse education today
AbstractPractice learning is an essential part of the curriculum and accounts for approximately 60% of the current pre-registration nursing programmes in the Republic of Ireland. The nature and quality of the clinical learning environment and the student nurses' experience of their practice placements is recognised as being influential in promoting the integration of theory and practice. However, the problem experienced by many learners is how to relate their theoretical knowledge to the situation-at-hand within the practice setting. Socio-cultural or activity theories of learning seek to explain the social nature of learning and propose that knowledge and learning are considered to be contextually situated. Lave and Wenger (1991) argue that learning is integrated with practice and through engagement with a community of practice, by means of sponsorship; students become increasingly competent in their identity as practitioners. This paper examines the changes which have occurred within the pre-registration nursing curriculum in the Republic of Ireland with the transition from the apprenticeship system to the graduate programme, and the resulting reduction in clinical learning hours. It also examines the potential impact on the development of student learning with the implementation of the concepts proposed by Lave and Wenger to learning in the practice setting.
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