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Continuity or team-teaching approach for midwifery education? An exploratory qualitative study of student and academic preferences

Published:November 03, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2022.10.005

      Abstract

      Background

      The content of midwifery courses is very similar across universities. The teaching approach is not, with universities adopting a variety of pedagogical methods.

      Aim

      To explore views of midwifery students, midwifery academics and senior academic managers comparing a continuity approach where one main academic provides the majority of midwifery content plus pastoral care compared with a team-teaching approach of midwifery education where lecturers change throughout the course.

      Methods

      Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were used to discover thoughts, benefits and disadvantages of two teaching approaches. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

      Findings

      Midwifery students and academics valued relationship building, consistency of advice and assessment expectations of the continuity approach but also appreciated a variety of teaching styles and content found in the team-teaching approach. Senior academic managers favoured a team-teaching approach due to workload concerns.

      Discussion

      Continuity and team-teaching pedagogical approaches offer different advantages. Continuity in midwifery education may provide students with a meaningful trusting relationship with their teacher and consistency of information, which could aid learning. A team-teaching approach provides students with diversity of teaching styles and midwifery ‘stories’. A combination of both pedagogies offering both a mix of teachers and a named ‘go-to’ mentor might help meet student requirements for both continuity and variety.

      Conclusion

      Relationship building, consistency and trust, were all evident in the continuity approach whereas the team-teaching approach was considered to be a more sustainable workload model.

      Keywords

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