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J Nurs Educ. 2009 Jan;48(1):11-6.

Factors related to successful teaching by outstanding professors: an interpretive study.

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  • 1School of Nursing and Health Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.


The purpose of this study was to identify and describe factors associated with successful university teaching within the cultural norms of a public university in the midwestern United States. An interpretive analysis was conducted using the educational philosophy and goal statements of 35 university professors who received Presidential Teaching Awards from the university. The professors' diverse disciplines included nursing, curriculum and instruction, accountancy, music, and political science. The authors offer nursing educators the opportunity to increase their confidence and effectiveness by "learning" from faculty members who have been recognized as exceptionally successful in teaching. Four main relevant themes associated with successful university teaching were identified: Presence, Promotion of Learning, Teachers as Learners, and Enthusiasm. The narratives of the professors helped define the meaning of successful teaching across disciplines and offer nursing faculty additional perspectives and experiences.

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