Exploring features of integrative teaching through a microanalysis of connection-making processes in a health sciences curriculum.
The interconnected nature of knowledge in the health sciences is not always reflected in how curricula, courses, and learning activities are designed. Thus have scholars advocated for more explicit attention to connection-making, or integration, in teaching and learning. However, conceptual and empirical work to guide such efforts is limited. This study analyzed classroom processes to determine what connections educators promoted in their classrooms and how those connections were made. A qualitative, focused ethnography design explored connection-making in a health science curriculum. Eight instructors were observed during ten class sessions resulting in 35 h of video data. Video data were entered into the observational software, Noldus Observer, and coded using continuous sampling. Frequency and duration of connections made were calculated in Noldus. Connection-making involved four interactive elements: The topic under direct consideration, other domains of professional knowledge (practice, student experience, research, theory, other content, core construct of the profession, external influences, metacognition), the integrative processes instructors used to connect a topic to other knowledge domains (informal example, stories, questioning, linking statements, formal cases, and program descriptions), and the learning and instructor context (type and purpose of course, instructor personal and professional experience). These elements are presented as an initial integrative learning taxonomy that can be used to guide explicit attention to connection-making in education and research.
Hooper, BR; Greene, D; Sample, PL
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