Understanding synthesis across disciplines to improve nursing education
Western Journal of Nursing Research
Nursing students must learn higher-order thinking skills of analysis and synthesis to manage complex data for decision making in healthcare. Teaching synthesis, however, is challenging and elusive due to lack of understanding of the concept and an explicit pedagogy for teaching it. A qualitative, multi-phased research project was designed to gain understanding of what synthesis is, how professionals acquire synthesis skills, and how to best teach synthesis. The first phase explored interdisciplinary descriptions of synthesis. Three focus groups were conducted, and interdisciplinary participants responded to several questions. Several themes emerged suggesting that synthesis depends on cognitive skills and competencies, situational and contextual factors, preparation and knowledge acquisition skills, interpersonal and interaction skills, and personal qualities. Participants also supported use of multi-modal teaching strategies to reinforce students? use of synthesis in learning. This project provided a beginning understanding of the synthesis process, revealing striking similarities in synthesis across professional disciplines.
Link to Published Version
Blondy, Laurie C., Blakeslee, Ann M., Scheffer, Barbara K., Rubenfeld, M. Gaie, Cronin, Brenda M., & Luster-Turner, Rose. (2015). Understanding synthesis across disciplines to improve nursing education. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 38(6), 668–685. doi:10.1177/0193945915621720