Mary ClarkeFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Dr. James Swezey


Constructivism, Nursing Students, Peer Tutoring, Phenomenology, SCT, Self-Efficacy


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this phenomenological study is to understand the experiences of peer tutoring in junior-level nursing students, as well as the perceptions of increased self-efficacy and overall benefit to student learning. The proposed study included 10 nursing students enrolled in the residential Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at a large private university in the Southeast United States. The theoretical framework guiding this study included both developmental constructivism (Piaget, 1953) and social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1994), as they work in a reciprocal relationship within a conceptual framework. Knowledge is constructed, and as students learn concepts from experiences, they build on them to further constructs, moving from concrete thinking to abstract. As perceived self-efficacy increases, and the ability to construct clinical skills and competency in practice increases, the result should be the building of theoretical to clinical tie-in construction. Social cognitive theory describes learning that is affected by cognitive, behavioral, and environmental factors, which are intricately and reciprocally connected, to bring about the conscious desire to self-regulate future behavior (Bandura, 1994). The Central Question stated, “What are the shared, lived experiences with peer-tutoring among junior nursing students in the residential BSN program?” Data collection included interviews, a focus group, and video taping of the peer-tutoring sessions. Data analysis followed with a structured step-wise approach following the modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method (Moustakas, 1994). The study provided in depth insight into the shared lived experience. Three main themes that emerged including peer connections and sense of community, student perspectives with two years immersion, and intended and unintended practice implications.