We mistakenly believe that everything learners need to know can come from the expertly prepared lecture, delivered by an experienced nurse. After all, lectures are safe, self-contained; a lecture has intentional boundaries between delivery and questions.
Devoid of curiosity—that has been the practice. Our responsibility as educators has been seen as: Get through the content and teach everything needed to function at the bedside. The brain will magically know how to apply that knowledge in context. But content, in and of itself, is the beginning of learning; content that is not applied in the real world of nursing practice has little value. True learning happens when learners have opportunities to apply content knowledge and then reflect on the experience.
What if curiosity—at the bedside—became the driver of clinical teaching? A curious educator, seeking to understand the learner’s perspectives, can then guide the learning using strategies that build cognitive muscles so the brain can perform immediately—at the bedside. Eureka!
In our volume 2 monograph, Critical Conversations: Moving from Monologue to Dialogue, we take educators through a neuroscience journey to explore key strategies from the education discipline that enhance critical thinking. We believe that dialogue is the foundational thread, and that curiosity underpins these neuroscience strategies. In this monograph, we weave together the latest in neuroscience teaching and learning strategies with the art of dialogue. Let’s explore a few ideas.