Teaching/Education Philosophy
Andrea Pratt
University of Saint Mary




Teaching/Education Philosophy
Philosophy for education and teaching is comprised of values and beliefs of the
profession and each person involved. Billings & Halstead (2012) describe the philosophy of
education as “doing philosophy” (p. 108). Doing philosophy goes from individual work to group
work for encompassing several aspects of nursing. The philosophy of nursing is an expansive
subject encompassing several aspects of nursing. The more articles I read, the more I understand
the variety of components involved in the philosophy of nursing. It is far reaching and varied
according to each person’s view.
Jean Watson’s theory of human caring/caring science is one that I identify with for my
nursing philosophy. The carative factor of “engaging in genuine teaching-learning experience
that attends to wholeness and meaning, attempting to stay within other’s frame of reference”
(Watson, 2010, p. 2). I try to practice with a holistic viewpoint and apply the teaching-learning
experience to a holistic viewpoint. I have found it is much better for the learner when I treat the
whole person instead of concentrating on the teaching only. I find out how they learn best, adapt
the teaching to coincide, and proceed through the teaching episode. I have taught one or two at a
time or small groups of up to 30 people. I have found individualizing teaching is much more
productive and effective for the learners.
The metaparadigm of nursing includes person as “physical, intellectual, bio-chemical and
psychological needs; a human energy field; a holistic being in the world; an open system; an
integrated whole; an adaptive system; and a being who is greater than the sum of his or her parts”
(McEwen & Wills, 2011, p. 41). I feel a view of the whole person is needed to provide
appropriate and competent care. I find out background information, cultural views, and history
from the admission papers or transfer papers. I am better able to care for people knowing more



than the basic information. I have noticed family and community are very important aspects of
the person. All are intertwined into the fabric of the person. I convey this by example and
explanation when teaching and working. People I work with know I talk as I go through the
steps of care or the process with rationale when others are around, so learning can take place
outside a formal setting. I feel an authentic experience is better than no experience.
Health is another metaparadigm of nursing. According to McEwen & Wills (2011, p. 42),
“health is the ability to function independently; successful adaptation to life’s stressors;
achievement of one’s full life potential; and unity of mind body, and soul.” Watson’s definition
is “unity and harmony within the mind, body, and soul. Health is also associated with the degree
of congruence between the self as perceived and the self as experienced” (McEwen & Wills,
2011, p. 43). I have found some people feel lucky to be alive regardless of their health status
while others with less health issues complain about how bad life is. I believe that each person can
function to the fullest of their ability whether independent or dependent on others for their full
care and be considered having their health. I feel it is important to acknowledge a person’s
feelings of their health status and work from there. I communicate through teaching moments
while at work and in a teaching episode.
Spirituality is not a metaparadigm; yet, I feel is important to consider with
teaching/education and practice. Meehan (2012, p. 997) states “the timeless interweaving of
spirituality, nursing, and health in human life processes give perspective to the resurgent desire
of many nurses to include spiritual care in their practice.” I have experienced the joy on people’s
faces when an open discussion of spiritual topics can take place. The patients feel more
comfortable. Also, a consideration of spirituality is needed for teaching and education. I am
open with co-workers and others about spirituality. I have been observed praying or talking with



a patient about spirituality. I encourage co-workers to take time at the bedside when a patient
passes. There is a service of farewell for all patients who pass. I offer and encourage who can to
participate as a closing to the care. I am respectful when people do not want to participate. I feel
I am teaching or educating through example to respect the spirituality of patients and caretakers.
Environment is another metaparadigm of nursing. Environment is referred to as “the
external elements that affect the person; internal and external conditions that influence the
organism; significant others with whom the person interacts; and an open system with boundaries
that permits the exchange of matter, energy, and information with human beings” (McEwen &
Wills, 2011, p. 42). I feel the environment around us and those we care for is very important. I
educate others to respect personal belongings and the environment of the patients as they would
want someone to respect theirs. Changes are being made to a more home like environment to
make people more comfortable in their surroundings regardless of what their level of functioning
Nursing is the last metaparadigm of nursing. McEwen & Wills (2011, p. 42) defines
“nursing as a science, an art, and a practice discipline and involves caring.” Watson’s definition
is “a human science of persons and human health-illness experiences that are mediated by
professional, personal, scientific, esthetic, and ethical human care transactions” (McEwen &
Wills, 2011, p. 43). Most of us went into the nursing profession to care for people, serve others,
and make someone else feel better. I know I put every effort forth to provide care in a holistic
manner to everyone involved. Spirituality and caring together was able to provide caring with a
scared reverent to reclaim the ideas of religious ethics and some without the religious label
(Pesut, 2012). Thus, nursing includes several dynamics to function and do the work nursing was
designed to do.



The provisions of ethics are intertwined with day to day nursing. Provision one states
“The nurse in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and respect for the
inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of
social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems” (American
Nurses Association, 2012, p. 143). Provision seven states “The nurse participates in the
advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration, and
knowledge development” (American Nurses Association, 2012, p. 143). I feel teaching and
education are a daily function in work and life. So, I try to keep education as a focus while
working and interacting with everyone. Also, I try to practice within the code of ethics at work
and out in the community. I believe we are an extension of our profession in nursing wherever
we go. This makes it easy to stay within the law, be respectful of all, be an advocate, and
continue learning daily in our jobs and lives, and striving to maintain the code of ethics in which
we function daily.
Evidence-based practice is important to keep up with changing information, exposing
learners to evidence-based practice, and using evidence-based practice as a teaching approach
(Felicilda-Reynaldo & Utley, 2015). I will research and maintain the use of evidence-based
practice to enhance my teaching and education abilities and provide the best care possible for
patients. I never leave someone who asks a question with “I don’t know”. Instead, I go find the
answer or assist them in finding the answer. I have inspired others to research answers or find
answers using the available resources.
Sister M. Simone Roach developed the five C’s of caring which are compassion,
competence, confidence, conscience, and commitment. The five C’s were used as a framework
for categorizing human behavior by which professional caring may be expressed. According to



Roach (2012, p. 67), related “in compassionate and competent acts; in relationships qualified by
confidence; through informed, sensitive conscience; and through commitment and fidelity,
specific manifestations of caring are actualized.” I believe and follow the five C’s of caring in
my practice, teaching, and education. I hope to communicate the five C’s of caring in my
teaching/education role by example.
As I practice nursing, I teach as I work with others and learn from them at the same time.
With multiple levels of caregivers, I feel it is important to treat everyone with respect regardless
of education and work together. I have told those I work with that I would not ask them to do
something that I myself would not do. This has gone a long way to developing a strong working
relationship and a strong team. I have been told that I have an excellent bedside manner and am
approachable. I was surprised that others were observing me when I work. So, it has made me
more aware of my actions, interactions, and care.



American Nurses Association. (2010). Guide to the code of ethics for nurses: Interpretation
and application. Baltimore, MD : United Book Press, Inc.
Billings, F. & Halstead, J. A. (2012). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (4th ed.). St.
Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Felicilda-Reynaldo, R. F. D. & Utley, R. (2015). Reflections of evidence-based practice in nurse
educators’ teaching philosphy statements. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(2), 89-95.
DOI : 10.5480/13-1176
McEwen, M. & Wills, E. M. (2011). Theorectical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Philadelphia,
PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Meehan, T. C. (2012). Spirituality and spiritual care for a careful nursing perspective. Journal
of Nursing Management, 20: 990-1001. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01462.x
Pesut, B. (2012). Nursings' need for the idea of spirituality. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1): 5-10. DOI:
Roach, Sr. Five c’s of caring. Reprinted with the permission of Sister M. Simone Roach, June
12, 2012.
Watson, J. (2010). Core concepts of Jean Watson’s theory of human caring/caring science.
Watson Caring Science Institute, assembled by Wagner, A. L.