Essay NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

Essay NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy
Essay NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy



Philosophy Of Teaching And Learning

Holistic Education

Critical Pedagogy

Lifelong Learning

Implementation of Philosophy




Personal philosophy of learning and teaching is important as it provide base for students and teachers

For a nurse educator, learning and teaching go hand in hand

A personal philosophy should be based on individual beliefs, values, experience, worldview, methods, and knowledge

Absence of personal philosophy might lead to non-constructive learning and teaching

Pedagogy and philosophy can integrate together to create a personalized philosophy

“A teaching (philosophy) statement is a purposeful and reflective essay about the author’s teaching beliefs and practices. It is an individual narrative that includes not only one’s beliefs about the teaching and learning process but also concrete examples of the ways in which he or she enacts these beliefs in the classroom.“

After my initial research on teaching and learning philosophy, I came to know that there are different teaching and learning philosophies. However, the philosophies vary depending on the type of the field, individual interest, values, worldview, knowledge, and the way we perceive the world (Grise-Owens, Miller & Owens, 2016).

A teacher cannot become a successful teacher until he or she become a student first and learn continuously to gain more knowledge and skills. . Therefore, it is important to include aspects of teaching as well as learning in my philosophy. 


What Is My Philosophy Of Teaching And Learning?

My philosophy of teaching and learning is the integration of 

Holistic Education

Critical Pedagogy

Lifelong Learning with Self-reflection

It integrates research as a core aspect

It is based on my experience, knowledge, beliefs, skills, and the goals

The road to knowledge is always under construction

Holistic education is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to spiritual values such as compassion and peace. Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning. At its most general level, what distinguishes holistic education from other forms of education are its goals, its attention to experiential learning, and the significance that it places on relationships and primary human values within the learning environment. 

Critical pedagogy is a teaching approach which attempts to help students question and challenge domination, and the beliefs and practices that dominate. In other words, it is a theory and practice of helping students achieve critical consciousness.

lifelong learning: Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, as well as competitiveness and employability.

Research is core aspect in my philosophy as nursing is a field of evolving research and its dynamic nature makes the research as an integral component

knowledge isn’t a thing that can be simply given by the teacher at the front of the room to students in their desks. Rather, knowledge is constructed by learners through an active, mental process of development; learners are the builders and creators of meaning and knowledge. 


Holistic Education

Concept of holistic education

Why is this important for nursing educator role?

How is it done?

Integrates both teaching and learning

Stress on both academic development and personal development

Opens wide-opportunities to develop more skills and gain more knowledge

The concept of holism refers to the idea that all the properties of a given system in any field of study cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its component parts. Instead, the system as a whole determines how its parts behave. A holistic way of thinking tries to encompass and integrate multiple layers of meaning and experience rather than defining human possibilities narrowly (Mahmoudi, Jafari, Nasrabadi & Liaghatdar, 2012).

True to its name, holistic education places an emphasis on the whole growth of a learner/educator instead of emphasizing only specific parts of the human experience. Holistic education is concerned with the development of a person’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potentials (Gallifa, 2019).  

Why is this important for nursing educator role?: As nurses encounter different situations, people/students from different background, people with different characteristics, and work with different health care professionals, holistic approach is needed. This prepares the students to understand concepts such as community-based care, patient-centred care, decision-making, mutual respect, staying competent, and holistic development. When it comes to teaching, I believe in adopting an inclusive, advanced, interest-based, interactive, and cost-effective teaching philosophy.  This philosophy emphasize on teaching, learning, inclusiveness and multiculturalism. Personal Development is an integral part of the education as it is important to teach academic subjects but prepare the students to be successful in life.

How it is done?: 

Emphasize learning by doing and provide hands-on projects and opportunities

Design integrated curriculum focused on thematic units

Help our students learn to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills

Provide regular opportunities for group work and the development of social skills

Facilitate understanding and action as the goals of learning as opposed to rote knowledge

Emphasize collaboration and cooperation rather than competition

Educate for social responsibility and tolerance to the difference

Integrate community service and service learning projects in the daily curriculum

De-emphasize the use of textbooks in favor of varied learning resources

Create life-long learners

Assess by evaluation of children’s projects, goals and learning experiences

Help students respect and tune in to others, feel special and happy


Holistic Education Theories

Holistic evidence-based practice is based on holistic education theory

Community-based care is based holistic education theory

Theory of environmental adaptation

Theory of Transpersonal Caring and Caring Science

Theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness

Theory of Comfort

Every classroom has its own unique community; my role as the teacher will be to assist each student in developing their own potential and learning styles. I will present a curriculum that will incorporate each different learning style, as well as make the content relevant to the students’ lives. I will incorporate hands-on learning, cooperative learning, projects, themes, and individual work that engage and activate students learning.

Teacher’s Role

In holistic education, the teacher is seen less as person of authority who leads and controls but rather is seen as “a friend, a mentor, a facilitator, or an experienced traveling companion”. Schools should be seen as places where students and adults work toward a mutual goal. Open and honest communication is expected and differences between people are respected and appreciated. Cooperation is the norm, rather than competition. Thus, many schools incorporating holistic beliefs do not give grades or rewards. The reward of helping one another and growing together is emphasized rather than being placed above one another.

Holistic care is a complex concept which defies a precise definition. Holistic care provides an in-depth understanding of patients and their various needs for care and has important consequences in health-care systems and has been referred to as the heart of the science of nursing. Holistic care can contribute to patients’ satisfaction with healthcare and help them to accept and assume self-responsibility. It will also result in a better understanding of the effects of illnesses on patients’ responses and their true needs (Valizadeh, Jasemi, Zamanzadeh & Keogh, 2017).

Florence Nightingale was the first nurse to emphasize the significance of holistic care. The philosophy of holistic care is based on unity and a humanistic view of the patient. A holistic paradigm has been present in the healthcare systems of many cultures, and it can be used in every area of nursing care, such as medical-surgical nursing, mental health nursing, obstetric nursing, pediatric nursing, and public health nursing. Patients of all races and religions have the right to receive holistic care; nevertheless, few patients are provided with it.

Holistic care is a nebulous and subjective concept. In general, it describes approaches and interventions that are meant to satisfy a patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs (Valizadeh, Jasemi, Zamanzadeh & Keogh, 2017).

Theory of Environmental Adaptation: Providing external supports for healing to take place. Emphasizing the health properties of the environment (cleanliness, fresh air, light, warmth, and order). Compelling nurses to care for nutritional needs and emotional comfort.

Theory of Transpersonal Caring and Caring Science: Caring relationships between nurse and client. Multiple truths, physical and nonphysical realities, relativity of time and space. Caring ethic as foundational to all health care. Postmodern organization of healthcare settings (Shea & Frisch, 2014).

Theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness: Health is expanding consciousness that includes an individual’s total pattern. Nursing is caring—a moral imperative. People are open systems. Health–illness as a unitary process. 

Theory of Comfort: Comfort as a holistic phenomenon. Comfort reflects holistic well-being. Comfort is described as feelings of relief, ease, and transcendence (Shea & Frisch, 2014). 


Critical Pedagogy

What is critical pedagogy?

Helps in innovation as it encourages the student/teachers to adopt new practices

It encourages critical reading, critical writing, critical listening and critical speaking

Critical thinking is considered fundamental to contemporary nursing work and key to development of knowledgeable, competent, caring and compassionate practice

Critical pedagogy for nurse education is the means by which nurses are educated not only to know this difference, but also to have the skills to act when care is unacceptable

Critical pedagogy for nurse education is the means by which nurses are educated not only to know this difference, but also to have the skills to act when care is unacceptable and be assured that concerns about care, raised in good faith, will be robustly addressed.

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

Pedagogy in nurse education is concerned with what nurses need to know in order to understand nursing as a social enterprise, as a political activity, as a technically demanding profession, in a digital age, where patients, families and care givers have access to medical and health related information on a global scale. The goal of nurse education is thus to prepare nurses to meet the challenges of contemporary nursing practice (Dyson, 2018). 

Habits of thought, reading, writing, and speaking which go beneath surface meaning, first impressions, dominant myths, official pronouncements, traditional cliches, received wisdom, and mere opinions, to understand the deep meaning, root causes, social context, ideology, and personal consequences of any action, event, object, process, organization, experience, text, subject matter, policy, mass media, or discourse (Dyson, 2018).

In this tradition the teacher works to lead students to question ideologies and practices considered oppressive (including those at school), and encourage liberatory collective and individual responses to the actual conditions of their own lives.

The student often begins as a member of the group or process (including religion, national identity, cultural norms, or expected roles) they are critically studying. After they reach the point of revelation where they begin to view their present society as deeply problematic, the next behavior encouraged is sharing this knowledge with the attempt to change the oppressive nature of the society (Farrow, 2015).


Critical Pedagogy Theories

Critical pedagogy draws on critical theory, which relates to an ideal standard or mode of being, grounded in justice and freedom

Critical consciousness may inform an appropriate critical pedagogy for fostering compassionate, humanistic, socially conscious health professionals who act as agents of change

Evidence-based practice is a result of critical analysis of problem and significance of research

Critical social theory

Transformational leadership and nursing care is a product of critical approach

Critical pedagogy is a philosophy that “applies the tenets of critical social theory to the educational arena and takes on the task of examining how schools reproduce inequality and injustice” (Beck, 2005). Beck believed students were able to learn by critiquing multiple texts and examining the injustices that existed amongst them (Lynam, 2009)

In moving away from this banking model of education, Friere envisioned schools as critical spaces where students would be empowered to interrogate and question social conditions through the use of discourse about issues of high interest and relevance to their lives

Insights from the social sciences, including geography, sociology, and anthropology, have long been incorporated into pre-registration nursing programs. 

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

Characteristics of a Transformational Leader in Nursing

Is a model of integrity and fairness

Sets clear goals

Has high expectations

Encourages others

Provides support and recognition

Stirs people’s emotions

Gets people to look beyond self-interest

Inspires people


Lifelong Learning

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

What is Lifelong Learning?

We are all lifelong learners

How to adopt lifelong learning?

Importance of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is critical for nurses (teachers and students)

Lifelong learning is a form of self-initiated education that is focused on personal development. While there is no standardized definition of lifelong learning, it has generally been taken to refer to the learning that occurs outside of a formal educational institute, such as a school, university or corporate training.

How to adopt lifelong learning in our life?

Recognize our own teaching and learning interests and goals

Structure the learning goal

Do research, collaborate, and discuss

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

Learning to use a new technology, developing new skill, adopting to new practices, using new strategies to teach and learn

Benefits of lifelong learning

Renewed self-motivation

Increased knowledge and skills

Better teacher or learner

Recognition of personal interests and goals

Improved self-confidence


Lifelong Learning Theory and EBP

Theory of Reflective Practice in Nursing

Self-efficacy theory – Nurses can manage themselves better 

Social learning theory

Felder- Silverman Learning Style model – multi-approach learning model

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

The Theory of Reflective Practice in Nursing is a middle-range theory. It mainly proposes that nurses must practice reflection-before-action, reflection-in-action, reflection-on-action, and reflection-beyond-action to advance nursing practice. Reflective practice can impact positive outcomes such as personal and professional development, improved quality of care, and improved care outcomes. Moreover, the theory posits that the environment provides the context of the concepts of reflective practice. The environment can nurture or inhibit effective reflective practice. The theory has strong interpretive and phenomenological roots thus it exemplifies a postmodernist perspective. Reflection is a way of knowing in nursing that typifies the subjective, explicatory, and contextual form of knowledge that emerges from nurses’ practice experiences (Jacobs, 2016).

Lifelong learning can be achieved through different learning theories. Pritchard (2013) discusses that learning theories such as behaviorism, the social learning theory and social constructivism enable individuals learning. 

Self-efficacy theory was originated from Social Cognitive theory by Alberta Bendura. Self-efficacy is the belief that one has the power to produce that effect by completing a given task or activity related to that competency. Self-efficacy relates to a person’s perception of their ability to reach a goal.

Bandura (1977) developed the social learning theory and believes that individuals learned by observing the behavior of others and imitating that behavior, especially those of importance to individuals such as parent and teachers. The social learning theory is relevant to me as a student nurse as I will be observing my mentor in practice. By observing my mentor and of those who have importance to me for my clinical learning in practice, I will complete tasks and care to patients in a similar way to what I have observed. However, I believe  there are some limitations to Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory. 

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

The Felder-Silverman learning styles model introduces a multifaceted approach to understanding learning style. This model includes: active and reflective learners, sensing and intuitive learners, visual and verbal learners, and sequential and global learners (Muruganandam & Srinivasan, 2016).


Implementing Philosophy in Teaching and Learning

Change the classroom dynamic 

Understand the learning styles of students

Implement the teaching strategies based on curriculum

Establish better relationship through communication

Empower and motivate students and self to learn and practice

Include innovation and technology 

If you are not thinking critically and challenging social structures, you cannot expect your students to do it! Educate yourself using materials that question the common social narrative. For example, if you are a history teacher, immerse yourself in scholars who note the character flaws or problematic structures that allowed many well-known historical figures to be successful. Or, perhaps, read about why their “successes” were not really all that successful when considered in a different light. Critical theory is all about challenging the dominant social structures and the narratives that society has made most familiar. The more you learn, the better equipped you will be to help enlighten your students. Here are some good resources to get you started.

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

Change the classroom dynamic. Critical pedagogy is all about challenging power structures, but one of the most common power dynamics in a student’s life is that of the teacher-student relationship. Challenge that! One concrete way to do this is by changing your classroom layout. Rather than having students sit in rows facing you, set up the desks so that they are facing each other in a semicircle or circle. This allows for better conversation in the classroom. You can also try sitting while leading discussions instead of standing. This posture puts you in the same position as the students and levels the student-teacher power dynamic. It is also a good idea, in general, to move from a lecture-based class where an all-wise teacher generously gives knowledge to humble students to a discussion-based class that allows students to think critically and draw their own conclusions.

NR 506 Week 4 Preparation of Presentation to Elected Official

Implementing Philosophy in Teaching and Learning

Present alternative views

Change the assessments

Give and get constructive feedback

Discuss and collaborate

Encourage activism and transdisciplinary approaches

Reflect and adopt lifelong learning

With the goal of educating the whole person, holistic education promotes several strategies to address the question of how to teach and how people learn. First, the idea of holism advocates a transformative approach to learning. Rather than seeing education as a process of transmission and transaction, transformative learning involves a change in the frames of reference that a person may have. This change may include points of view, habits of mind, and world views. Holism understands knowledge as something that is constructed by the context in which a person lives. Therefore, teaching students to reflect critically on how we come to know or understand information is essential. As a result, if “we ask students to develop critical and reflective thinking skills and encourage them to care about the world around them they may decide that some degree of personal or social transformation in required”.

Teacher had to encounter views that were contrary to the dominant narrative. Now, present these views to your class alongside the traditional ones. Have them discuss both and encourage them to draw their own conclusions. If a student presents a viewpoint, encourage him or her to dig further. Asking questions like “why do you believe that?” or “why is that a good thing” will encourage students to challenge their own beliefs, break free of damaging social narratives, and think independently.

Traditional assessment structures, like traditional power structures, can be confining. We don’t have to use them! Make sure that your assessments are not about finding the right answer, but are instead about critical thinking skills. Make sure students are not just doing what they think they need to do to get a particular grade. You can do this by encouraging students to discuss and write and by focusing on the ideas presented above presentation style.

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

Third, along the same thread as the idea of connections in holistic education, is the concept of transdisciplinary inquiry. Transdisciplinary inquiry is based on the premise that division between disciplines is eliminated. One must understand the world in wholes as much as possible and not in fragmented parts. “Transdisciplinary approaches involve multiple disciplines and the space between the disciplines with the possibility of new perspectives ‘beyond’ those disciplines. Where multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry may focus on the contribution of disciplines to an inquiry transdisciplinary inquiry tends to focus on the inquiry issue itself”.

After educating yourself, you encourage students to think critically, and they, in turn, take their newfound enlightenment into their families and communities.  You can do this by telling your students about opportunities in their community where they can combat oppression, like marches, demonstrations, and organizations. You can help students to start clubs that focus on bringing a voice to the marginalized. You can even encourage students to talk about patterns of power and oppression with their family and peers.



My philosophy of teaching and learning is to adopt holistic education, lifelong learning and critical pedagogy along with self-reflection to develop skills and knowledge throughout the life to influence, empower, educate, and assist students positively by adopting an inclusive, interactive, interest-based, and quality education model and curriculum. The philosophy will be used as base to strategize the way I learn and teach as a nurse educator to develop self and the students both personally and professionally. 


Dyson, S. (2018). Critical pedagogy in nursing. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Farrow, R. (2015). Open education and critical pedagogy. Learning, Media And Technology, 42(2), 130-146. doi: 10.1080/17439884.2016.1113991

Feo, R., Conroy, T., Marshall, R., Rasmussen, P., Wiechula, R., & Kitson, A. (2016). Using holistic interpretive synthesis to create practice-relevant guidance for person-centred fundamental care delivered by nurses. Nursing Inquiry, 24(2), e12152. doi: 10.1111/nin.12152

Gallifa, J. (2019). Holonic Theory and Holistic Education. Journal Of International Education And Practice, 1(1). doi: 10.30564/jiep.v1i1.415

Jacobs, S. (2016). Reflective learning, reflective practice. Nursing, 46(5), 62-64. doi: 10.1097/01.nurse.0000482278.79660.f2

Kyle, R., & Atherton, I. (2016). Biogeography as critical nursing pedagogy: Breathing life into nurse education. Nurse Education In Practice, 20, 76-79. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2016.07.006

Lynam, M. (2009). Reflecting on Issues of Enacting a Critical Pedagogy in Nursing. Journal Of Transformative Education, 7(1), 44-64. doi: 10.1177/1541344609334871

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

Mahmoudi, S., Jafari, E., Nasrabadi, H., & Liaghatdar, M. (2012). Holistic Education: An Approach for 21 Century. International Education Studies, 5(3). doi: 10.5539/ies.v5n3p178

Muruganandam, S., & Srinivasan, N. (2016). Appraisal of Felder – Silverman Learning Style Model with Discrete Data Sets. Indian Journal Of Science And Technology, 9(10). doi: 10.17485/ijst/2016/v9i10/88992

Rosa, W. (2017). Assessing the Readiness of Nursing Sectors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries to Adopt Holistic Practice. Holistic Nursing Practice, 31(3), 183-192. doi: 10.1097/hnp.0000000000000207

Shea, L., & Frisch, N. (2014). Application of Integral Theory in Holistic Nursing Practice. Holistic Nursing Practice, 28(6), 344-352. doi: 10.1097/hnp.0000000000000050

Valizadeh, L., Jasemi, M., Zamanzadeh, V., & Keogh, B. (2017). A concept analysis of holistic care by hybrid model. Indian Journal Of Palliative Care, 23(1), 71. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.197960

NR535 – Week 3 – Personal Philosophy

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