Midwifery in American Institutes of Higher Education: Womens Work, Vocations and the 21st CenturyReport as inadecuate

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Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n2 2009

Midwifery is one of the universal professions. At the end of the nineteenth century, midwives in the United States were disenfranchised from the mainstream. A concerted effort was waged by male physicians to characterize midwifery practices as unscientific while simultaneously preventing midwives from obtaining formal education. Although midwifery in the United States continued, it was limited to an apprentice model, and viewed as a vocation exclusively for women and without the need for education, especially at the college or university level. In the 1920's a model of nurse-midwifery, based on the British system, emerged and was taught in independent schools. It was not until mid-century that programs were subsumed into schools of nursing within colleges and universities. By the turn of the twenty-first century, programs are taught on the graduate level. Although this has enabled mainstreaming of education, this movement has meant midwifery faculty is increasingly challenged to possess excellent skills in practice, education and research, to be productive scholars within the institution, and to educate millennial students who seek financial security instead of a calling. In addition, the position of midwifery within nursing often obscures its unique role and diminishes both the power of the profession and its faculty. Among the new issues for midwifery academicians are increased technology, increased curricular content and an increasing number of male candidates for this traditional woman's work. (Contains 19 footnotes.)

Descriptors: Obstetrics, Higher Education, Educational History, Nursing Education, Medical Education, Educational Innovation, Educational Change

Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail: editor[at]forumonpublicpolicy.com; Web site: http://www.forumonpublicpolicy.com

Author: Brucker, Mary C.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=3435&id=EJ870101


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