This article discusses theoretical underpinnings, teaching strategies, and preliminary evaluation relative to the development of a reflective curriculum used in our distance-accessible graduate psychiatric nursing program. Influenced by the collective ideas of J. Dewey (1993), J. Reed and S. Proctor (1993), D. A. Kolbe (1984), J. Mezirow (1981), C. Johns (2006), D. Schön (1983), D. Freshwater (2008), and others who have promoted reflection as a transformative teaching and learning process, we sought to develop a curriculum that balanced knowledge and skill acquisition with critical reflective practices that would instill habits of lifelong learning. We began with traditional approaches to psychiatric nursing education, including case study analysis and modified lectures that we call mini lectures. We then added principles and practices of reflection to allow for merging these traditional approaches with contemporary reflection-focused approaches. Specific ways to use reflection in a graduate psychiatric nursing curriculum are described to demonstrate how we have taken our curriculum beyond traditional ways of teaching and learning toward one that emphasizes building knowledge and skill through reflective practice.
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