Nursing educators are called to graduate students who are critical thinkers able to face the challenge of negotiating increasingly complex health care systems (Candela, 2011; Cerullo and da Cruz, 2010). Active learning has been incited as a mechanism to foster critical thinking skills (Michel et al., 2009; Pascarella, 2005; Walker, 2003). Yet despite evidence and academic applause in favor of active pedagogies, passive pedagogies continue to dominant the nursing education landscape (Brown et al., 2009; Burbach et al., 2004; Schnell, 2005). Although, scholarly literature in nursing and education substantiate existence of various obstacles that inhibit faculty incorporation of active pedagogies, perhaps the insidious culture of competencies in nursing education is what truly engenders a milieu for the continued use of passive pedagogies. In this article, I aim to stimulate debate about the culture of competencies in nursing education as the overriding force which perpetuates use of passive pedagogies.
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