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Using Short Cases to Teach Thinking

Using Cases and Think-Aloud

Dr. Marilyn Oermann, University of North Carolina, USA

Dr. Marilyn Oermann has authored a collection of theoretical papers that constitutes one of Nursing’s best collections on theory based teaching and learning, and curriculum assessment. Her award winning book entitled “Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education” and several others most relevant for critical thinking and clinical judgment are listed at the end of this chapter. Here she shares her expertise on the use of short clinical cases to externalize and evaluate evidence of critical thinking in her nursing students. Her discussion of the need to think aloud for students is exactly true, and the practice of doing so is one of the most valuable gift that can be offered to the clinical student by an expert critical thinker and diagnostician. The “think aloud” method was first described in 1920 by behaviorist John Watson as the way to learn more about how people think. We believe that cultivating this habit of mind is also one of the most helpful strategies for growing one’s critical thinking skills at any age.

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