Theoretical Foundations of Teaching and Learning Essay

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Learning & Teaching

Identify a behavior in the healthcare setting that you would like to change that involves extinguishing an undesirable behavior and replacing it with a healthier behavior (e.g., getting cardiac patients to reduce their high-fat diet and eat healthier foods; getting patients with low back pain to minimize their pain and become more independent in their activities). Describe how the behavior could be changed using the principles of a particular learning theory. Then describe how the same behavior could be changed using a different theory. Depending on the behavior to be changed and replaced, you might also discuss why one plan might work better for men than women, or for younger people than older people.

To start with the last sentence first, it is clear that the younger a person is, they are generally more pliable and "changeable" than with older and/or more mature people that are more set in their ways. The more hard-edged approach to take is to make clear what can and might happen if a bad behavior is not changed. For example, if a person is always eating fatty foods and lives a sedentary lifestyle, then there is at least a possibility that the person will develop adult-onset diabetes. Of course, the effects of diabetes going uncontrolled can be serious to fatal. Amputations, loss of eyesight and organ death are just some of the various nefarious effects (Deyoung, 2003).

However, this does not happen with many people, although other things (heart disease, etc.) can happen, and the person being mentored to might already know this or will eventually figure it out. However, if there is a family member (or more than one) that has had adult-onset diabetes and they have suffered greatly due to not controlling diet and blood sugar, it can be said (gently) to the younger person who might (or definitely) is in the earlier stages that they will quite likely be at that point somewhere down the road if they do not take care of themselves now. Even if that wedge is not present, it can be impressed upon the patient that their family loves them and/or relies on them and, thus, it is important that they take the necessary steps to ensure that they will live to a ripe and old age. In general, showing clearly cause and effect and offering options that are attractive rather than revolting to the patient will make it much more likely that success will ensue (Deyoung, 2003).

Critical Thinking Exercises: (40 points…1000 total words)

• How can the learning theories be used in combination to change behavior and enhance learning?

The combination of more than one theory can be useful if there are more than one condition or issue that is involved and a singular approach, as a result, would not be as effective or fruitful as a multi-pronged one. Even if a singular method can be used to address all of the relevant issues, a multi-pronged approach might be usable to keep things fresh and less predictable and thus keeping the learner on alert and more engaged in the learning. This can prevent people from going through the motions and faking their way to portend and represent compliance (Bradshaw, 2013).

• You are a staff nurse preceptor, and you find that the nurse orientee you are working with has difficulty understanding the idea of titrating drug dosages on the basis of physiologic data. A weakness in which type(s) of learning might be underlying this problem? In addressing this orientee's difficulty, what other information would you collect?

This is probably a great example of the Health Beliefs Model (National Cancer Institute, 2012). Of course, no more than the needed therapeutic dose a drug, based on the psychological symptoms and profile of a person, should ever be used. For example, if two different patients are on Lexapro, that does not necessarily mean that both should be on the same dosage level. Indeed, if one patient has fairly mild but noticeable symptoms while other cannot function or retain employment without a drug intervention (at least for now), then the first should be on a lower dose and the latter will be on a higher dose if not a stronger and different drug entirely (Bradshaw, 2013).

As far as how to address a nurse orientee not understanding this or not wanting to care, the problem could be as simple as a lack of proper education and/or the nurse orientee did not pay nearly enough attention while going to their nursing classes. As far as learning theories go, one might be able to point to the social cognitive theory. It could very well be that environmental factors and influence brought to bear on the orientee have watered down the idea of taking only what is necessary to fix a malady, whether it be pain medication, cough medicine and so forth. Indeed, many people intentionally and actively take more than they should and this can be dangerous if a nurse has not learned this lesson. A "reset" should occur where the orientee learns that maximum dosage means exactly that…maximum. In addition, only the necessary dose to cure a malady given its type and severity should be given to each patient (Bradshaw, 2013).

• You are preparing to counsel a nursing students who is failing a nursing course, How would your approach differ if you base your counseling on Self-Efficacy Theory vs. Attribution Theory?

The self-efficacy theory would be applied to a nursing student if self-confidence was the issue that is causing the student to fail and otherwise struggle. A person with self-efficacy issues would struggle greatly with the ability complete tasks and reach goals and thus needs some assistance with how to gather one's self and right the ship from a grades standpoint (DeYoung, 2003).

Attribution theory is similar, but definitely different, in that the patient is asked to look at ones actions, behaviors and events as they happen explain them in a more neutral and realistic context rather than relying on incomplete or even dead wrong perspectives. For example, the student may be failing because they are not studying enough but they instead may think the professor is not doing their job well and/or is grading people too harshly. The patient/nursing student should be forced to reason out what is happening including how much the student is studying, whether the perspective about the hard-line teacher being based on softer teachers going too easy on the student before, the fact that college (nursing school in particular) can be quite difficult as compared to even other majors in the same college and so forth. At the end of the day, it comes down to differentiating between correlation and causality. Just because the classes get a lot harder does not mean there is anything wrong with the material or the people teaching it (DeYoung, 2003).

• If you are a clinical preceptor in a health care agency, how could Social Cognitive Theory assist you in teaching your preceptee?

Of course, social cognitive theory stipulates that while many people learn through social interactions, experiences and media influences, other people can (and actually must" learn through other avenues such as colleges and other formal learning centers. Nursing is something that can absolutely be an example of the latter. This set of statements can be assistive in that while much can be applied from the real-world experiences and learning that people bring into a class, absolutely will replace what they DO learn at the agency and it is important that everyone learn the same set of information and apply them the same way. Rather than encourage inaccurate or at least incomplete learning bits from prior situations and classes, the preceptor should instead tie in commonly held misperceptions that the class may have from society and then offer the more complete or corrected perspective that will help them be the medical professionals that they need to be later on, or even currently if they are already operating in the field as LPN's or something of that nature (Prati, 2012)(Bradshaw, 2013).

Professional Development: 1500

List and briefly describe the ways that each of the major learning theories -- behaviorist, cognitive, social learning, psychodynamic, and humanist -- can be used to increase a behavior. Then, list and briefly describe the ways that each of these major theories can be used to decrease or extinguish a behavior.

Behaviorist -- Increase

A behaviorist approach to INCREASE a behavior could be used to explain why a behavior not being engaged in right now is actually the right way to be proceeding and behaving and this can be proven through prior academic or scientific studies that are based on scientific principles. For example, it could be proven that using the highest dose of a drug regardless of the severity of the condition in play can actually increase side effects and that the maximum dosage is not necessary to get the job done, thus more of the drug can be saved and…[continue]

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