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Reflection and problem/enquiry-based learning: confluences and contradictions

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In this article I review the historical and philosophical underpinnings of reflection and problem/enquiry-based learning (PBL/EBL). Consequently, I analyse and relate them to the delivery of the nursing curriculum in higher education. From this analysis a series of confluences and contradictions emerge between the two philosophies. Most importantly, an epistemological contradiction is identified in the production, development and assessment of knowledge. Hence, this article concludes to the assumption that reflective and PBL/EBL teaching strategies should not be conflated and be regarded as similar teaching methods. Furthermore, it is argued that the reflective epistemology of learning can seriously be devalued if these contradictions are not realized by nurse educators. Lastly, it is concluded that nurse educators are required to position themselves with regards to their preferred educational epistemology and accordingly deliver their modules. In this way, the aims of each strategy will be best achieved in the nursing curriculum.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2007

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