Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

What Binds Us Together: Bringing Voice and Value to the Work We Do Each Day

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

What Binds Us Together: Bringing Voice and Value to the Work We Do Each Day

Article excerpt

M. ELAINE TAGLIARENI took office as president of the NLN on September 28, 2007. Her first President's Message for Nursing Education Perspectives is adapted from her remarks at the installation ceremony.

EMBRACING NEW PERSPECTIVES, responding to the world as it is unfolding, aspiring to foster possibilities for growth and leadership for nurse educators, both nationally and internationally - as in the past, all these intentions define the important work of the NLN. I well remember my first NLN meeting in 1979, called to help associate degree programs achieve accreditation. I was a neophyte faculty member then, and I remember spending an entire day in the old Sheraton hotel ballroom in New York City, exploring how to use the Roy Adaptation Model and meticulously outlining the essential components needed to write a valid nursing philosophy. But what was most exciting for me was learning to create curriculum charts with vertical and horizontal threads. I loved it! At that moment, I knew I was hooked for life.

In the years that followed, I never missed an NLN convention. In Seattle, in the 1980s, I was first introduced to the curriculum revolution, and I remember the excitement of discovering that I could reframe teaching and learning away from behavioral, content-laden, measurable, structured curriculum models. I recall Em Bevis in Philadelphia, telling us to restructure classroom and clinical practice and, most importantly, to rethink the role of teacher as co-learner in a dynamic relationship with students. Around that time, I first met Verle Waters, with whom I worked for seven years in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the NLN to demonstrate ways to infuse gerontology into associate degree programs. She taught me to embrace ambiguity, and that curriculum reform was more about asking the right questions than finding clear and well-defined answers.

Even now, I feel the excitement I knew during those years as I truly came to understand that as a teacher, I can guide and direct students to achieve unlimited possibility. And, as a teacher and leader in nursing education, I can build connections with students and colleagues that will help transform their practice. These were the early moments when I first came to know that I stood in life as teacher.

Max van Manen, an educational philosopher who influenced my thinking while I was a doctoral student at Teachers College, tells us that to stand in life as teacher is to discover the meaning of everyday experiences of students in the context of the learning environment - questioning, doubting, wondering, and caring for and about students. …

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