Experiences of classroom learning by midwives trained at Kitwe School of midwifery,Zambia
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The performance of midwifery students at the progression examination at Kitwe School of Midwifery was low during the period between 2012 and 2015. This is despite the school producing some of the best results at the final General Nursing Council (GNC) Examinations. The main objective of this study was to explore experiences of classroom learning by midwives of their classroom learning at Kitwe School of Midwifery. A qualitative study using a phenomenological descriptive design was employed. The research setting comprised five (5) health care facilities in Kitwe district and the study population was midwives that had graduated from Kitwe School of Midwifery between 2010 and 2015. Participants were purposively selected, data were collected through in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FDGs) and content analysis was used to analyse data. Five major themes emerged from the study and these include; staff attitudes, heavy curricular content, limited time for classroom learning, inappropriate teaching methods and staffing levels. Findings of the study revealed that, while some participants expressed gratitude for the support rendered by some of the teaching staff, they generally expressed concern with staff attitudes, indicated that the curriculum content was too heavy, classroom learning time was limited and teaching methods were inappropriate. Participants also expressed disapproval of the classroom learning environment and some described it as unsupportive of their academic aspirations. The teacher-learner relationship should be improved in order to facilitate students’ learning. A review of the duration of midwifery curriculum should be done in order to harmonise the content and the time allocated to cover particular content. This will reduce stress among learners and improve the quality of teaching and learning. Innovative teaching methods (such as problem-based learning, which are student-focused) should be embraced in order to improve students’ participation in their academic aspirations. Visual aids should be made available and appropriately applied during classroom learning to enhance students’ understanding of content.
The University of Zambia