What are the goals of higher education: to prepare a person for success in a specific career path, or to cultivate virtues like critical thinking, good citizenship, and moral reasoning? Bok (2006) suggests that colleges and universities consider combining these two purposes to create an ideal educational environment. It is possible to create a program that promotes higher order thinking while also promoting vocational development.
Ultimately, Bok (2006) presents the following eight aims of higher education:
· Critical Thinking
· Moral Reasoning
· Preparing Citizens
· Living With Diversity
· Living in a More Global Society
· Breadth of Interests
· Preparation for Work
Nursing majors seem to be concerned with some, but not all, of Bok’s (2006) eight aims. The features most frequently mentions...
However, some students also differentiate between vocational and liberal arts approaches because most nursing programs are vocational.
Three of the most compelling arguments for a vocational program include:
· Direct pathway to career entry and progress
· The pragmatic nature of nursing requires specific skills and less time spent on theory
· Hands-on learning opportunities
Three of the most compelling arguments for a liberal arts program include:
· Exposure to new ways of looking at problems, and exposure to new subjects.
· Multidisciplinary approaches to nursing
· Improved critical thinking skills (knowing how to think, not what to think about)
The UHM Nursing Program is, I believe, attempting to blend the best of both worlds. By integrating theory with practice, the program introduces all students to the liberal arts method of education without dwelling too much on course material that might detract from what is essentially a vocational program.
At the same time, curriculum or program directors at UHM could…
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