Qualitative study of social and health care educators’ perceptions of their competence in education

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Kristina Mikkonen, Monika Koskinen, Camilla Koskinen, Meeri Koivula, Minna Koskimäki, Marja‐Leena Lähteenmäki, Hanne Mäki‐Hakola, Outi Wallin, Tuulikki Sjögren, Leena Salminen, Marjorita Sormunen, Terhi Saaranen, Heli‐Maria Kuivila, Maria Kääriäinen
Publisher: Wiley
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Health and Social Care in the Community
Volume number: 27
Issue number: 6
Start page: 1555
End page: 1563
eISSN: 1365-2524


Abstract Competent educators are needed to ensure that social and healthcare professionals are effective and highly competent. However, there is too little evidence‐based knowledge of current and required enhancements of educators' competences in this field. The aim of this study was to describe social and healthcare educators’ perceptions of their competence in education. The study had a qualitative design, based on interviews with educators and rooted in critical realism. Forty‐eight participants were recruited from seven universities of applied sciences and two vocational colleges in Finland, with the assistance of contact persons nominated by the institutions. The inclusion criterion for participation was employment by an educational institution as a part‐time or full‐time, social and/or healthcare educator. Data were collected in the period February–April 2018. The participants were interviewed in 16 focus groups with two to five participants per group. The acquired data were subjected to inductive content analysis, which yielded 506 open codes, 48 sub‐categories, nine categories and one main category. The educators’ competence was defined
as a multidimensional construct, including categories of educators’ competences
in practicing as an educator, subject, ethics, pedagogy, management and organisation, innovation and development,
collaboration, handling Cultural and
linguistic diversity, and continuous professional
development. Educators recognized the need for developing competence in innovation
to meet rapid changes in a competitive
and increasingly global sociopolitical environment. Enhancement of adaptability to rapid changes was recognized as a necessity. The findings have social value
in identifying requirements to
improve social and healthcare educators' competence
by helping educational leadership to improve educational
standards, construct a continuous education framework and create national and/or international curricula for teacher education
degree programs to enhance the quality of education. We also suggest that educational
leadership needs to establish, maintain and
strengthen collaborative strategies to provide effective,
adaptable support systems, involving educators and students, in their working practices.

Last updated on 2020-31-05 at 03:14