The Implementation of Narrative Pedagogy into Nursing Education in Japan

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT The conventional approach to nursing education has been dominant in the teaching and learning environment in Japan. Some teachers are now seeking alternative approaches that can offer new ways of practice for reforming nursing education. Narrative Pedagogy can be used to guide the reconstruction of nursing education in Japan. The author reviews contemporary approaches to nursing education in Japan and discusses the strategies for implementing Narrative Pedagogy into the nursing education environment.

Key words Narrative Pedagogy--Reflection--Nursing Education in Japan--Curriculum Reform

**********

HISTORICALLY, the of nursing education has largely been based on behavioral models for education, such as Tyler's objectives-based models (1). The dominance of the object-based curriculum has encouraged teacher-centered on the teacher's knowledge and technical skills (2). Contemporary nursing education literature criticizes this conventional approach (3-7). The current view is that teacher-centered, conventional pedagogies are not synchronous with the needs of nursing education today and in the future.

Some teachers and researchers who have recognized the limitations of conventional pedagogy are advocating the adoption of an alternative pedagogy. One approach to reform is the use of Narrative Pedagogy (5), which has been embraced as an integral component of developing and using nursing knowledge. Narrative Pedagogy is a pathway to substantive reform for nursing education and can therefore become a useful paradigm to redirect and reconstruct future nursing education (2,6,8,9). Educational reform enacted through Narrative Pedagogy offers students, teachers, and clinicians a way to challenge the day-to-day assumptions of traditional pedagogy and routine practice (8). (See Sidebar.)

THE USE OF NARRATIVE PEDAGOGY IS NOT A FAMILIAR CONSTRUCT WITHIN CONTEMPORARY NURSING EDUCATION IN JAPAN, WHERE TRADITIONAL, CONVENTIONAL PEDAGOGY CONTINUES TO DOMINATE. This author believes that Narrative Pedagogy could be an important direction for students, teachers, and clinicians in Japan as it offers an alternative and expansive way of facilitating thinking and practice and carries the potential for reform. THIS ARTICLE REVIEWS CURRENT APPROACHES TO NURSING EDUCATION IN JAPAN AND OFFERS POSSIBLE STRATEGIES FOR ENACTING NARRATIVE PEDAGOGY.

Implementing Narrative Pedagogy in Japan It has been noted that a teacher-dominated classroom relationship discourages students' reflective and critical thinking (10-11). Japanese education emphasizes rote learning with a reliance on teacher-driven approaches to learning (10). Upon entering the university, many students are overwhelmed when expected to think critically or independently for self-directed learning or when making decisions (12). Indeed, Wurzel (13) found that Asian students, Japanese students in particular, feel extremely concerned when they express their own opinions and ideas in the classroom.

Because of long-held traditional teaching strategies, many nurse educators in Japan are not familiar with Narrative Pedagogy. Studies by this author and others (10,11,14) have found that a large percentage of nurse educators tend to use traditional teaching methods that discourage the development of new ways of learning and teaching. This teaching issue is related to contemporary approaches to clinical practice.

In 1996, a revision of Japanese nursing curricula led to a dramatic reduction in students' time in clinical practice (15). As a consequence, students now spend considerably less time earing for patients (16). A further problem in some schools of nursing is that clinical experiences for practicing certain skills are purely observational; students are not allowed to apply nursing skills, such as injections, in patient care (17).

Core competencies for nursing as well as reflective thinking skills cannot be learned from observing. …