Reflective learning through distance education: a critical reflection on the possibilities in developing countries

Online braz. j. nurs. (Online); 2 (3), 2003
Publication year: 2003

To develop critical thinking skills that are typical of a reflective practitioner is for most students in nursing a difficult process. Not only is it difficult for them to evaluate themselves, but they can find it extremely difficult to evaluate their own colleagues. The process can, however, be simplified. When students are supported by reflective lecturers who are willing to let themselves be evaluated and who encourage the students to evaluate them, the process becomes less threatening. Through this they learn that nobody has all the knowledge that is needed to optimally nurse patients and that there ought to be a continued search for new information and knowledge. Interpersonal contact between lecturers and students is therefore crucial in the development of the students into reflective nurses.Distance education in developing countries is currently viewed as an innovative development. It is in accordance with the concept of lifelong learners. In countries like Africa, and certainly also in other developing countries worldwide, education for persons in rural areas are made accessible through distance education. However, the question that also arises is whether reflective learning through distance education is possible.