Patterns of Knowing

April 1, 2018 Nursing

Explain the various patterns of knowing as they influence theory construction or development in nursing: In 1978, Barbara Carper identified four types of knowing in nursing. The first type is called empiric knowing and represents knowledge that is verifiable, objective, factual, and research based. The second type called ethical knowing provides us with knowledge that is about what is right and wrong and what are good and bad, desirable and undesirable. The third type of knowing is labelled aesthetic knowing.

It gives us the knowledge that focuses on the art of nursing – tacit knowledge, skill and intuition. Also, there is personal knowing and this represents knowledge that focuses on self-consciousness, personal awareness and empathy. Chinn & Kramer (2008) mention an additional pattern of knowing labelled emancipatory knowing The fundamental reason for developing knowledge in nursing is for the purpose of creating expert and effective nursing practice. It is through inquiry processes for each pattern that knowledge is formulated for the discipline.

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The main concept of knowledge is that all patterns of knowing form an integrated whole, and the whole of knowing is essential as a basis for best practices in nursing. Chinn & Kramer(2008) states failure to develop knowledge integrated within all of the patterns of knowing leads to uncritical acceptance, narrow interpretation, and partial utilization of knowledge which is called “the patterns gone wild”(p. 20). Chinn & Kramer (2008) also states that a shift to a balance in knowledge development to reflect each of the patterns of knowing in nursing holds potential to bring the realm of knowledge development and the realm of practice together.

Bringing together “knowing” and “doing” is praxis-the synchronous, thoughtful reflection and action to create a desired future of emancipatory change. Images of a desired future are not confined to any one pattern but rather are reflected in all knowing patterns (p. 22). If we as a discipline fail to integrate all patterns of knowing to further develop nursing theories and knowledge, the gap between knowledge and practice will never lessen. References: Chinn, P. L. & Kramer, M. K. (2008). Integrated Theory and Knowledge Development in Nursing (7th ed. ) St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier


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