Learning Theories and Diversity Essay

Learning Theories and Diversity Essay

Nurse educators have advanced nursing degrees and a comprehensive understanding of policies, standards, and expectations that underpin the nursing profession. They play a forefront role in teaching patient care and clinical skills, guiding nursing students during research endeavors, designing, implementing, and evaluating program curricula, enhancing nursing students’ awareness of legal and ethical standards of nursing practice, and assisting learners during clinical rotations. According to Mthiyane & Habedi (2018), nurse educators require more innovative teaching approaches that promote creativity, critical thinking, and active participation for learners. Innovations in the education sector provide limitless opportunities for nurse educators to adopt flexible and interactive teaching methods. Examples of innovations that transform teaching strategies include access to electronic resources, video conferencing, online teaching and learning, and research-based teaching (Mthiyane & Habedi, 2018). Besides utilizing interactive teaching methods, nurse educators should familiarize themselves with prevailing diversities among learners and understand theories that underpin all-inclusive teaching methods. Consequently, this paper elaborates on an ideal learning theory that applies to the selected educational topic and audience and potential diversity in learners, as well as strategies for managing conflicts in the classroom that emanate from the anticipated diversity among learners.

An Overview of the Selected Topic and Audience

As a nurse instructor in an institution of higher learning, I endeavor to design and introduce a course on evidence-based practice and its impacts on the current healthcare systems. This course is consistent with the prevailing need to incorporate the information, scientific knowledge, and nursing informatics into clinical practices. Li et al. (2019) contend that evidence-based practice (EBP) entails using and applying the best available evidence in decision-making and the provision of effective and efficient care. In this sense, utilizing the best evidence and providing care based on scientific justifications can improve healthcare safety and enhance care outcomes. In the current healthcare systems, healthcare professionals grapple with issues that prompt research-based problem-solving and decision-making approach. For example, the proliferation of adverse events, including medication errors, surgical failures, and hospital-acquired infections are among issues that require healthcare professionals to incorporate research as a tool for improving clinical processes and solving these safety concerns.

The course targets nursing students who are in the final year of their studies due to the overarching need to prepare them for the complex process of transition from learners to healthcare professionals. According to Joseph et al. (2022), nursing graduates encounter multiple challenges during their transitional period, including role expectations, fears, the inability to translate theoretical knowledge to practice, and confidence issues emanating from reality shock. Amidst these challenges, nurse graduates cannot effectively implement various aspects of evidence-based practice (EBP), such as locating and appraising evidence. Consequently, this course focuses on all elements of evidence-based practice, including strategies for locating and appraising evidence, assimilating evidence, and applying different EBP models to improve care quality, solve clinical questions and problems, and improve decisions.

An Educational Theory that Could Guide the Development of the Course

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Different theories provide insights into strategies for enhancing knowledge acquisition and cultivating a conducive environment for learning and information retention. Since nursing students have basic information on clinical expectations, professional standards, and ethical obligations, it is vital to adopt interactive methods when teaching them about evidence-based practice (EBP) and its components. Horntvedt et al. (2018) identify small group work, journal clubs, reading quizzes, clinical nurse presentations, and workshops as ideal approaches for teaching nursing students about evidence-based practice. Equally, interactive lectures and problem-based learning are vital in improving learners’ participation in learning activities and enhancing knowledge acquisition. According to Horntvedt et al. (2018), the primary objective of adopting these interactive methods is to bolster interactions among the participants and facilitate student learning. As a result, it is valid to associate these approaches with the constructivist theory.

Constructivist Theory

Nursing students are not passive recipients of educational instructions, but active stakeholders in learning practices. In this sense, it is essential to capitalize on their experiences to improve their learning and awareness of the core concepts of the proposed course. According to Seifert & Sutton (2019), the constructivist perspective of learning endorses the premise that students actively create (construct) knowledge out of experiences, as well as through interactions with more knowledgeable and experienced individuals. This assumption leads to the sub-themes of constructivism; psychological and social constructivism.

Psychological constructivism is a predominant theoretical concept proposed by reputable theorists and philosophers, including John Dewey (1938-1998) and Jean Piaget. This sub-theme of the constructivist theory suggests that learners learn by cognitively organizing and reorganizing new experiences or information (Seifert & Sutton, 2019). In the same vein, Piaget perceived learning as the product of an interplay between assimilation and accommodation where assimilation entails interpreting new information based on pre-existing concepts or ideas, while assimilation entails modifying the underlying concepts based on new information and experiences. The cognitive dimension of constructivism prompts educators to adopt interactive, creative, and flexible teaching approaches to promote creativity and the exploration of new concepts.

On the other hand, social constructivism emanates from the works of Jerome Bruner and Lev Vygotsky. It emphasizes the relationships and interactions between learners and educators. According to Seifert & Sutton (2019), social constructivists believed that learners can effectively acquire knowledge if educators and instructors provide appropriate guidance and resources through the process of instructional scaffolding. When educating nurse students about evidence-based practice, it is essential to achieve instructional scaffolding by guiding learners throughout the course, using explicit instructions, incorporating visual aids, and breaking complex concepts into smaller understandable components.

Potential Diversity in Nursing Students

As a nurse instructor, I must familiarize myself with potential diversity in nursing students and transform instructions consistent with these forms of diversity. According to Ohio University (2019), diversity in nursing education include race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation. Also, bilingualism and cultural beliefs are issues of concern when developing the curriculum and instructions for an evidence-based practice course. For example, varying cultural beliefs and norms prompt the instructor to practice cultural competence when teaching nursing students from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In the same breath, the presence of learners with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requires the use of educators to modify teaching instructions and simplify vocabularies as a strategy for instructional scaffolding and promoting knowledge acquisition. The failure to address these forms of diversity would lead to disparities in learning and perpetuate other conflicts in the classroom context.

Strategies for Managing Conflicts in the Classroom Arising from the Anticipated Diversity Among Learners

Conflicts in the classroom context include disparities in learning, learners’ disruptive behaviors, absenteeism, bullying, and discrimination. According to Valente & Lourenco (2020), the primary causes of conflicts in classrooms are a lack of emotional intelligence (EI), poor communication, and instructional and role ambiguity. Also, the failure to identify and respect diversity among learners can perpetrate bullying, discrimination, and favoritism anchored by negative implicit and explicit perceptions toward people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

As a nurse educator, I would embrace conflict management approaches to address students’ disruptive behaviors and other conflicts in the classroom. Mahvar et al. (2018) argue that educators can manage classroom conflicts by motivating learners, establishing close relationships with students, demonstrating emotional intelligence and cultural competence, and enhancing learners’ psychological safety. When educating nursing learners about evidence-based practice, it is possible to avoid conflicts by simplifying teaching instructions, punishing uncivil behaviors like bullying, conditioning positive behaviors, and ensuring effective communication to identify social and psychological causes of conflicts in the classroom context.


Nurse educators should use interactive teaching methods when educating nursing learners about advanced concepts, such as evidence-based practice. Examples of interactive methods include video conferencing, the use of visual aids, field visits, and online learning. They are consistent with the constructivism theory of learning that emphasizes learners’ experiences and relationships with more knowledgeable individuals as the basis of effective learning. Further, educators should understand diversity in nursing students and endeavor to implement ideal classroom management strategies to address conflicts emanating from various forms of diversity. Examples of proven approaches for preventing classroom conflicts are simplifying instructions, valuing diversity, improving communication, and punishing uncivil, disruptive behaviors and acts like bullying.



Horntvedt, M.-E. T., Nordsteien, A., Fermann, T., & Severinsson, E. (2018). Strategies for teaching evidence-based practice in nursing education: A thematic literature review. BMC Medical Education, 18(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1278-z

Joseph, H. B., Issac, A., George, A. G., Gautam, G., Jiji, M., & Mondal, S. (2022). Transitional challenges and role of preceptor among new nursing graduates. Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(2), 56–63. https://doi.org/10.34172/jcs.2022.16

Li, S., Cao, M., & Zhu, X. (2019). Evidence-based practice. Medicine, 98(39), e17209. https://doi.org/10.1097/md.0000000000017209

Mahvar, T., Ashghali Farahani, M., & Aryankhesal, A. (2018). Conflict management strategies in coping with students’ disruptive behaviors in the classroom: Systematized review. Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism, 6(3), 102–114. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039817/

Mthiyane, G. N., & Habedi, D. S. (2018). The experiences of nurse educators in implementing evidence-based practice in teaching and learning. Health SA Gesondheid, 23(1177). https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v23i0.1177

Ohio University. (2019, April 2). Importance of diversity in nursing education. https://onlinemasters.ohio.edu/blog/importance-of-diversity-in-nursing-education/#

Seifert, K., & Sutton, R. (2019). The learning process. Pressbooks.pub. https://pressbooks.pub/uwgedpsych/chapter/the-learning-process/

Valente, S., & Lourenço, A. A. (2020). Conflict in the classroom: How teachers’ emotional intelligence influences conflict management. Frontiers in Education, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.00005


For this assessment, you will create a 5–7-page high-level teaching plan in which you do the following:

Select a topic for a course that you would like to teach in an educational environment. (For example, maybe you would like to be a nursing instructor in an institution of higher learning, a staff development educator in a clinical facility, or a patient educator in a hospital.) Briefly describe your course and the environment that you will utilize for teaching. Also describe the intended audience for your course.
Select an educational theory that you could use to guide the development of your course. Describe the key points of the theory you selected and explain why you think this theory fits the topic, audience, and context of your course.
Be sure to cite textbooks or articles from peer-reviewed journals to support your choice.
Identify and discuss potential diversity in the group that you anticipate teaching. (Diversity can include multiculturalism, age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), or other cultural barriers that you feel could impact your learning environment.)
Use current research to describe how you will address these issues in your learning environment.
Describe how you will manage conflict in the classroom that may arise from the anticipated diversity among learners.
Additional Requirements
Format: 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spaced in Microsoft Word.
Length: 5–7 pages, plus a title page and a references page.
Use correct APA format, including running head, page numbers, and a title page.
Writing should be free of grammar and spelling errors that distract from content.
Competencies Measured
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:

Competency 1: Appraise the influence of learner’s culture, gender, and experiences on teaching and learning.
Describe the diversity of an intended group of learners.
Competency 2: Apply educational theory and evidence-based teaching practices when implementing teaching strategies.
Identify a learning theory that applies to a selected educational topic and audience.
Competency 3: Apply a variety of teaching strategies appropriate to diverse learner needs, content, and desired learner outcomes.
Justify the application of a learning theory in a particular context.
Competency 4: Integrate best practices for classroom management
Describe evidence-based strategies for managing conflicts that could arise in a diverse classroom.
Competency 5: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with the expectations of a nursing education professional.
Support a position with effective written communication; use correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and mechanics, and APA style and formatting.

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