Undergraduate Students’ Perception of the Educational Environment of a Medical School Provided a Framework for Strategic Planning | Chapter 05 | Current Trends in Medicine and Medical Research Vol. 5

Aim: To propose a strategy for improvement of undergraduate students’ learning environment based on analysis of their perceptions.

Methods: Medical, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy undergraduate students participated in the study. The study used a quantitative descriptive design, based on the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM) inventory. The University of South Africa and University of Zambia Ethics Committees provided ethical approval. Using stratified random sampling, participants were drawn from the Ridgeway Campus of the University. They responded to a demographic section and the 50 DREEM items. Data analysis included descriptive statistics on demographics, total and subscales DEEM scores and mean scores on individual items. Cronbach’s alpha and confirmatory factor analysis provided reliability and validity indices of the dataset. Specific issues derived from individual items’ scores were used to propose a strategy. 

Results: Total participants were 488 including 239 from Medicine, 135 from Pharmacy and 74 from Physiotherapy. Response rate was 95.5%. Mean total score was 119.3/200. Scores within subscales of perception of learning, perception of teachers, academic self-perception, perception of atmosphere, and social self-perception were 29.87/48, 26.29/44, 20.96/32, 27.26/48 and 14.86/14, respectively. Four strategic issues emerged from six items with mean scores below 2.0/4.0: lack of adequate social support for stressed students, substandard teaching and mentoring, unpleasant accommodation and inadequate facilities. Strategic objectives were raised and strategic options recommended from literature.

Conclusion: Strategic planning in medical and health professions education should consider learners’ concerns by analysing their learning environments.

Author(s) Details

Christian C. Ezeala
Department of Physiological Sciences, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Mulungushi University, Livingstone Campus, Livingstone, Zambia and Department of Health Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.

Mary M. Moleki
Department of Health Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.

View Volume: http://bp.bookpi.org/index.php/bpi/catalog/book/135

The Effects of Mindfulness Training on Wisdom in Elementary School Teachers | Chapter 02 | Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3

Aims: School teachers have hundreds of spontaneous interactions with students each hour, requiring frequent decision-making. Often these interactions require social understanding, perspective taking and emotional self-regulation, constructs often identified with wise reasoning and mindfulness.  Increasing mindfulness could aid wiser reasoning in addressing the challenges of classroom demands. The present study evaluated effects of an online mindfulness course on measured wisdom in a sample of public elementary school teachers.

Study Design: This study used a pretest/posttest design using data collected immediately before taking the online mindfulness course and after completion of the course. End of the school year follow-up data was analyzed for all teachers.

Place and Duration of Study: Participants were enrolled from multiple cities across the United States including Boston, Columbus, Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, and San Diego between June 2014 and June 2015. Data were collected online and analyzed at the University of Chicago.

Methodology: Public elementary school teachers (n = 12) were assigned to a mindfulness training or a matched wait-list condition (11 female, 1 male; age range 26 – 57 years). Teachers had a range of teaching experiences from 1 to 36 years (median =18 years) and taught grades K-4 at schools with 30% – 50% Caucasian students with 40%-60% students receiving free and reduced-price lunches. We used standardized measures for mindfulness, wisdom, emotion regulation, compassion, theory of mind, state/trait anxiety, stress, burnout, and efficacy.

Results: Online mindfulness training produced a significant increase in mindful awareness and changes in cognitive wisdom implying increased understanding of inter/intrapersonal concerns. There was a significant increase in mindful attention in those who completed both pre- and post-class online evaluations (n = 10) solicited by Mindful Schools (t (9) = 2.738, p = .02) from 54.3 to 59.9 following training (ΔM= 5.6, SD = 6.5). Wisdom, measured with Ardelt’s Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (n =12), demonstrated a significant increase in the cognitive dimension of wisdom (t(11) = 2.39, p =.03) with a non-significant increase in the affective dimension (t(11) =1.38, p =.19) and a non-significant reduction in the reflective dimension of wisdom (t(11) =.96, p = .35) following mindfulness training.

Conclusion:  Online mindfulness training may help develop wise decision making as a skill for teachers to aid classroom management and social problem solving.

Author(s) Details

Jean Ngoc Boulware

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Brenda Huskey

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Heather Harden Mangelsdorf

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Howard C. Nusbaum

University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Read full article: http://bp.bookpi.org/index.php/bpi/catalog/view/77/1043/736-1

View Volume: https://doi.org/10.9734/bpi/pass/v3