Understanding the Impact of Generation Gap on Teaching and Learning in Medical Education: A Phenomenological Study

Jodie Josephine (Lead / Corresponding author), Linda Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study contributes to discourses and dilemmas where students/teachers experience intergenerational learning environments. It explores the underarticulated differences between post-millennials and baby boomers sharing accounts of the lived experiences of learners and educators on either side of such divides shedding a light on generation gaps hoping to inform faculty development.

Methods: Interpretative phenomenology was chosen to articulate "whatness" and extract meaningful understandings. Purposive sampling identified three teachers and three third-year students from an Indonesian medical school. Online semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcriptions analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Emerging themes were connected and re-presented in the form of a metaphorical story to showcase the entirety of data while maintaining idiosyncratic focus.

Findings: Themes from the teachers' subset were changing characteristics of medical students, changing paradigms surrounding the role of a teacher, relationship with students, and relationship with other teachers. Themes from the students' subset were hierarchical educational environment, relationship with teachers, and emotional response towards learning experiences. Themes were integrated into three existing theories, community of practice, self-concept, and control-value theory of achievement emotions. Findings revealed power dynamics between stakeholders in an unrecognized community of practice hence failing to shape the legitimacy of peripheral participation. Consequently, the rigidity of the hierarchical educational environment left little room for meaning construction and might hinder development of positive self-concept. Unawareness of students' achievement emotions led to low perception of control and value, affecting their behavior and motivation towards learning.

Conclusion: Medical educators could benefit from faculty development targeted to facilitate changing roles of teachers in facing the more recent generation of students. Curricula could be designed to foster collaborative educational environments which promote legitimate participation, authentic expression of emotions, and positive self-concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1079
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2022


  • phenomenology
  • curriculum
  • faculty development
  • community of practice
  • self-concept
  • control-value theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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