IntroductionQuality assurance and accountability in nursing higher education will be discussed in this assignment. I will then analyse human existentialistic philosophy. I will discuss and provide examples for the importance of using both theory and practice in nursing programmes and relationship with quality assurance. I will also discuss facts to be looked at when planning a new curriculum including reflection report.Quality assurance and AccountabilityThe term quality implies something positive, and is associated with goodness or excellence, however we also talk of services as being of poor quality. (Quinn & Suzanne, 2013:541). Assurance means the action that has been taken to prove or to be sure and confident about something.Suzzane and Quinn (2013:541) defines quality assurance as steps taken to see if the characteristics of an organisation’s service or products meet agreed expectations. Quality assurance and accountability is performed in higher education institution (HEI). Accountability refers to the responsibility of a professional or an organisation to provide quality services. (Quinn et al 2013:539) History of education in South Africa is important especially when discussing quality assurance and accountability in HEI. In 1994 south African education system was changed to suit all needs of the country, with each province having its own educational department. South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) is the body responsible for the establishment of National Qualification Framework (NQF). NQF is a framework that consist of 8 levels and all the qualifications in South Africa must fit and comply with the requirements of this level (Meyer & Van Niekerk 2008:2).SAQA is also responsible for registration, accreditation, and registration of national standards and qualification on the framework. SAQA is supported by Education and Training Quality Assurance Bodies (ETQAs) and Sector Education and Training Authority (SETAs). ETQAs do not set standards they are responsible for overseeing the implementation and maintaining of the system and ETQAs must be accredited by SAQA e.g. South African Nursing Council for nursing. SETA is responsible for skill development and its member can be government department and or trade union e.g. HWSETA for nursing/ health.In 1997 the Higher Education act was formed. This act is responsible for South African Higher Education and to make sure that quality is always provided. Under this act the Council in Higher Education (CHE) was established. CHE discharged their responsibilities to the sub- committee called Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). HEQC is responsible for supporting quality and institutional audit. (CHE,2004:36). SANC as an ETQASANC established under the Nursing Act, 1978 (Act No 50 of 1978) as amended, is a statutory body that is charged with quality assuring of standards of nursing education and training. In terms of the SAQA Act of 1995, SANC was accredited as an ETQA body in November 2000 (SANC, 2003).SANC functions as an ETQA (SANC, 2003:13).Following are five functions of SANC as identified by Meyer et al (2008:21).Accreditation is a process and it involves five steps. Any training school that starts a nursing qualification must write a formal application and submit it to SANC. SANC’s responsibility is to issue a permit for the nursing school that meets the standards.Figure 1: process of accreditation (SANC, 2013:13)Step 1 Training institution give in a submission for official approvalStep 2 SANC analyses the application for official approvalStep 3 SANC visit the institution and carry out an auditStep 4 SANC makes a verdict regarding official approval based on findingsStep 5 SANC either does not issue or issues an official approval licenseSANC monitor nursing institution to make sur that quality and standard stay the same. Institutions are doing auditing inside their training institutions in order to keep up with SANC needs and requirements. (SANC, 2013:14).Responsible for registration of moderatorsSANC is responsible for registering assessors. HEI’s need to have a system to assess for quality and they must be registered under SANC as assessors. For example, assessors are registered nurses with one post graduate diploma.To work hand in hand with education institution and bodies responsible for qualityAccording to Meyer & Van Niekerk (220:5), SAQA was selected to create a single combined system for education in South Africa which led to the development of the NQF. SANC has a responsibility to ensure that nurse credentials are aligned according to the NQF and to ensure the provision of quality education.Providing feedback to SAQA:It SANC’s responsibility to submit reports to SAQA and work together with ETQA moderation bodies. (Meyer et al, 2008:20-21). Humanistic Existentialistic PhilosophyThere is a relationship between education and philosophy. According to Muller (2002:121) philosophy of nursing education involve rights and responsibility of the students, education process and lifelong continuation of education. Nursing education philosophies are all about being well informed and knowledgeable about education and the way you expected to behave in education and morals to nursing and education. There are many educational philosophies, but I will discuss existentialism and humanistic.ExistentialismThe existentialism is a human- centred philosophy that emphasises individual existence, freedom and choice. It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. Existentialism believes that individuals are entirely free and must take personal responsibility for themselves. According to Bruce et al (2011:168) existentialism perceives the thinking, feeling individual as the centre of all philosophy. Individualism is important; therefore, education is about self- fulfilment.HumanismHumanism refers to human beings, want humans to be recognised, to be given options to choose and to have a say in everything that involves their life.There are six principles of humanism: In health care system we must know what is right or wrong and we must follow the rules and behave in right manner Individuals are responsible making their own choices. Humanists believe in scientific method as a way of dealing with issues/problems. They believe in the world being seen or taken for real Believe that people must achieve a good life Unity exist between individual’s body and soul.Joseph (1985 in advanced nursing education reader, 2019:10).Application of these philosophy in to current nursing curricula and education practices.OutcomesOutcomes to be achieved in existential atmosphere is to guide the student to be true to their own personality and character, so that they can able to know what they want and to be involve in their own education and learning. Although they have freedom of choice, they still require guidance in decision making. Help student to be responsible and accountable for their actions so that they can improve in their academic achievement (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, 2019:4).The curriculumThe curriculum that pertains to the humanistic existential philosophy allows students to take charge of their own learning. The students do so by identifying their own learning needs and set goals in terms of how to reach their learning outcomes. (Worrell & Profetto – McGrath 2007, in Bruce et al., 2011:199).Methods of teachingThe teaching methods used in the humanistic existentialistic philosophy are problem based. The latter encompasses small group discussions after a real complex problem or cases are presented. It is then that the students reflect on experience and other students learn by solving the problem. The method is more of student-centred learning as the control lies more in with the learner (Bruce et al., 2011:199)The role of the facilitatorThe facilitator that uses the humanistic existentialistic provides a learning environment that stimulates the learner’s eagerness to learn. He or she is usually involved in the learning process of the learner and allows them freedom to express their shortcomings at the same time direct the learner to achieve specific outcomes. In the teaching and learning situation, the facilitator facilitates the learning material in such a way that it reflects the interests of the learner (Advanced Nursing Education Reader,2019:5)The role of the studentStudents must self- directed, self- motivated and self -governed. Their role is to be active rather than passive participants, and humanism believes that they can only do so if they learn what they a right to choose what they want to learn so that they can be motivated.Evaluation strategiesDuring evaluation the educator is expected to listen and observe and praise the student when necessary. Feedback is vital, to help the student to improve his or her performance and to know their weakness and strengths. Students are not the same so the educator must bear that in mind that students will not perform the same so they must make provisions to accommodate different learners. (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, 2019:5).2.2 Application of these philosophies to the current nursing curricula and educational practices2.2.1 OutcomesOutcomes can be achieved in an existential environment when the students are guided towards autonomy and authenticity. This means that students should be true to their own personality and involved in their own education and learning. For example, students should be allowed to make decisions in client care as this will create a sense of responsibility. Also by providing students with assignments you will create responsible and independent individuals. Although students have freedom of choice, they still require guidance in decision making. Educators need to help students be responsible and accountable for their actions so that they can improve their academic performance (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, n.d.:4). 2.2.2 Curriculum contentThe curriculum that pertains to the humanistic existentialistic philosophy permits learners to take responsibility for their learning (Advanced Nursing Reader, n.d.:4). The learner does this by identifying his/her individual learning needs and sets goals in terms of how to reach their learning outcomes (Bruce et al., 2011:199). The curriculum content must be relevant and significant to the learners’ everyday life. The curriculum content has to be aimed at providing learners with options so that they can make knowledgeable choices and it should allow them to make cautious predictions about the outcome of their choices (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, n.d.:4). 2.2.3 Teaching strategies Problem based learning will be utilised in the humanistic existentialism environment since learners have to learn to make knowledgeable choices, and to be happy with those choices. Problem based learning is a teaching-learning instructional approach in which learners, in small groups, learn through problem-solving and reflecting on their experiences and existing learning. It is a learner-centred strategy to learning that allows learners to work together in groups to try to find solutions or alternatives to problems or situations in need of improvement. In this strategy the educator is not the provider of information but facilitator of the learning process. For example, as an educator you will provide the learners with real-life problems of a client and follow certain steps to solve the problem (Bruce et al., 2011:199). The aim implementing this teaching strategy is to guide learners towards self-direction, independence and lifelong independent learning (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, n.d.:5).2.2.4 The role of the educator The educator that utilises the humanistic existentialistic philosophy produces a learning milieu that encourages the student’s keenness to learn. The educator should at all times be available, approachable and open to suggestions. In this teaching and learning situation the educator facilitates rather than direct the learning process. However, in some instances the educator has to give more support (even information) but the educator should never indoctrinate or tell the students what to think. The educator views the students holistically and allows them to express shortcomings, but at the same time guides the students to achieve specific outcomes (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, n.d.:5).2.2.5 The role of the student Students should be autonomous, self- motivated and self- governed. Students should be active participants in the learning process. Students have the right to choose what they want to learn which allows them to be intrinsically motivated, make their own choices and take responsibility for the consequences (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, n.d.:5).2.2.6 Evaluation strategiesIn order to respect individual freedom, evaluation should not be rigid to the extent of ignoring this fundamental essential of existentialism, nor should it be so lax as to counter the purpose and aim of education. During evaluations the educator is expected to monitor, listen to and commend the learner where necessary. Providing the learner with feedback is of vital importance as it helps the student improve his/her performance and makes the learner aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses. Educators should remember that learners are diverse, not all learners can perform procedures at the same pace, in the same manner and with precisely the same level of skill. What’s more, all learners will not achieve specific outcomes within the same timeframe. Therefore provision should be made for this in an evaluation schedule (Advanced Nursing Education Reader, n.d.:5).
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