Constructivist Theory in Human Simulation Development

Thursday, 16 July 2009: 2:05 PM

Maureen P. Cardoza
Department of Nursing, New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY


The purpose of this presentation is to provide nursing faculty with the educational theory of  Constructivism.  Educational theories are explanations of human learning that provide a scaffold to explain how and why we learn. Social constructivist learning theory provides a framework for the integration of high-fidelity human simulators into nursing curriculum. Social constructivism provides a pathway of learning  that explores student centered critical thinking case analysis and technical skill acquisition in a safe, nurturing environment that prepares nursing students for professional practice. 

Methods: Constructivist educational learning theory will be presented through lecture, powerpoint presentation with participant workbooks and discussion. 

Results: The constructivist theoretical perspective of learning and education is similar to the collectivistic and holistic theories that engage the students and the teacher in a collective learning environment.  Nurse educators will be able to apply constructivist theory within their didactic and practicum course components.

Conclusion: The cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning incorporating the concepts of the Social Constructivist learning theory can be integrated into all nursing curriculum courses by the inclusion of high fidelity human simulation laboratory practicum’s that build self-efficacy and confidence in student nurses to prepare them for practice in all health care settings.