‘Woman centeredness: Walking the talk in midwifery education'. Inaugural Trans-Tasman Midwifery Education Conference Transforming midwifery practice through education

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstract


Woman centred care is a central practice and foundational philosophy of midwifery. While teaching and learning strategies for knowledge and skills development in for example, anatomy or taking a blood pressure are relatively straightforward, deeply embedding ‘woman centred care’ as a practice and philosophy is not. A recurring finding in the various research projects we have conducted with stakeholders is that our students and graduates are strongly woman centred. Like many other programs a core component of our curriculum is teaching the philosophy of woman centred care. We propose however, that it is not enough to talk the talk; we must also walk the walk. In the context of midwifery education, for us at the University of Canberra, this means living a woman centred philosophy. This presentation focuses on the ways we practice a woman centred philosophy within our School of Midwifery. This includes the ways we role model woman centred care in our clinical practice with childbearing
women and in our relationships with students and importantly, with each other.
Cognitive dissonance describes the psychological discomfort brought about by inconsistency in thought, belief and action. If students are only taught the ‘face value’ of woman centred care but do not experience woman-centeredness, do not see this role modelled in practice or have the opportunity to practice in this way, they can experience cognitive dissonance. Learners will seek to
alleviate the dissonance by changing their belief or action to bring them into alignment. In addition, any inconsistency between thought, belief and action will undermine a program’s authenticity. We propose that providing students with a woman (student) centred experience and by role modelling a woman centred approach in all aspects of our teaching and practice, we can help move “woman centred care” from a theoretical concept external to the student’s experience, to a deeply embedded personal and professional philosophy for the budding new midwife.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventTransforming midwifery practice through education 2018 - Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 20 Sep 201821 Sep 2018


ConferenceTransforming midwifery practice through education 2018
CityGold Coast


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