The path to teaching emergency medical services : a multiple case study of paramedic educators’ preparatory experiences.


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Quality education requires quality educators (Filgona et al., 2020; Gibbs & Coffey, 2004; Martino, 2021), and many post-secondary educators are not adequately prepared to teach informal pre-service experiences to shed light on how those experiences prepared them to teach adult learners. Knowles’ (1973, 1980) principles of andragogy provided the foundation for the theoretical framework for this study, which specifically focused on three of the six principles of andragogy: self-directed learning, prior life experiences, and intrinsic motivation. I selected eight paramedic educators from across the United States to participate in the study. Each participant completed a questionnaire and participated in a semi-structured interview. I also collected artifacts including job descriptions, resumes, and sample lesson plans from each of the participants to triangulate the data. I reviewed the transcripts for accuracy and coded the data based on the principles of andragogy. Finally, I conducted a within-case and cross-case analysis and uncovered five findings. Five themes emerged from the data. First, paramedic educators desire to improve the quality of paramedic education for paramedic students. Second, paramedic educators are motivated by previous positive education experiences of their own. Third, paramedic most educators believe they lack pre-service preparation. Fourth, paramedic educators believe provider experience gives educators subject matter confidence. Finally, paramedic educators report ongoing mentorship as in-service development is essential to the success of paramedic educators.