Forming One’s Educator Identity: Exploring Experiences of Senior Medical Students Who Facilitate Problem-Based Learning Groups

Carol F. Whitfield, Jodi L. Jarecke, Britta Thompson, Paul Haidet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although the facilitation of problem-based learning by upper class medical students (also known as “near-peers”) is widely employed in medical schools, there is a paucity of research highlighting the experiences of these facilitators. We therefore conducted a study to explore the lived experiences of near-peer problem-based learning facilitators. Thirty reflective papers, written by near-peer facilitators who participated in an elective course, were analyzed by the four authors using a constant comparative method. While near-peers described themselves as “teachers,” they struggled with their role identity, acutely remembering their own student experiences. They felt challenged to know when to intervene and how to stay true to principles of constructivism, and felt rewarded by the opportunity to reflect on their own education and to see their own growth. This research highlights important steps in fostering students’ formation as educators: introduction of educational theory, opportunities for applying theory in practice, and opportunities to reflect on experiences. We suggest that these steps may provide a model for others who are implementing near-peer facilitator development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-713
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Science Educator
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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Problem-Based Learning
Medical Students
medical student
educator
Students
Foster Home Care
Medical Schools
Research
learning
experience
Group
Education
role identity
upper class
educational theory
constructivism
Growth
student
teacher
school

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education

Cite this

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Forming One’s Educator Identity : Exploring Experiences of Senior Medical Students Who Facilitate Problem-Based Learning Groups. / Whitfield, Carol F.; Jarecke, Jodi L.; Thompson, Britta; Haidet, Paul.

In: Medical Science Educator, Vol. 27, No. 4, 01.12.2017, p. 707-713.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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