Action learning as a tool to prepare supervisors of midwives
Supervision of Midwives is a statutory responsibility which provides a “mechanism for support and guidance to every midwife practising in the United Kingdom” (Nursing and Midwifery Council, NMC and The Local Supervising Authority Midwifery Officers National Forum, LSAMONF, 2008). To become a SoM requires a midwife to be nominated by her peers and to undertake a course at Masters Level over two semesters. A learning strategy on the preparation course is Action Learning whereby groups of 6 or 7 student supervisors compulsorily attend 6 AL sessions. Action learning requires skills of analysis, scrutiny and reflexivity. Revans (1982) makes the suggestion that AL is an ideal form of learning when there is no right answer to a problem. An exploration of action learning as a teaching strategy on the SoM preparation course led to the conclusion that this is an appropriate and high quality teaching method which develops the reflective skills of the participants as well as developing their self awareness and communication skills to a high standard.