Uncovering nursing students' views of their relationship with educators in a university context: A descriptive qualitative study
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Introduction Power dynamics is a key element in the educator-student relationship, and can be influential to the learning outcomes of students. Background: Power relations are inherent in the interaction between educators and students. The educator-student relationship is still an under-explored area of power dynamics. Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate nursing students' perceptions of the power dynamics in the educator-student relationship in a university learning context in order to offer educators some understanding of how such a relationship was perceived by students. Design: A descriptive qualitative study using focus group inquiry. Methods: Through convenience sampling, a total of 56 students were recruited and eight focus group interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis was adopted to capture the meanings extracted from the student narratives. Results: Four core themes of the educator-student relationship were identified. Referring to these themes, some implications were drawn, such as the significance of the educator-student relationship; an educator's power matters; and polarized views among the students on whether or not an educator should be a friend. Conclusions: The power dynamics varied depending on an educator's personality, communication skills, ability to effectively monitor large classes, and teaching style. More efforts are needed to investigate the preferred conceptions and types of educator-student relationships in order to evaluate the impact that these have on learning.
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