My Teaching Philosophy
“Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.” Parker Palmer
I have been teaching for several decades now, and my teaching philosophy, or what I believe and value most about teaching and learning continues to evolve. As an educator, my goal, as Parker Palmer wrote so eloquently, is to guide learners towards independence and to weave a world for themselves.
The learners I support are either pre-service or in-service nurses and other health professionals. I may share their learning journey during times when they are first beginning a program of study in their chosen profession (such an undergraduate nursing course), or when they are continuing their education (such as an interdisciplinary graduate studies course). I may meet my learners in classrooms, clinical practicums or online.
As a humanist educator, I believe that the health professions learners I support are self-directed and self-motivated people who actively seek out opportunities to grow and develop. I strive to get to know my students; to explore their individual interests and goals; and to respond to their learning needs with instructional approaches that are educationally sound and personally meaningful. I place high value on providing my learners with choices and control throughout their learning experiences.
Graduates of programs where I teach must provide safe health care to members of the public. As members of practice disciplines, my learners deserve theoretically sound, evidence-based and experience-centred educational opportunities. I hold myself accountable to advocate for these experiences at both the curricular and instructional levels.
It is important to me to understand how my learners feel about what they are learning and to create safe spaces where they can share these feelings. Whenever possible, I integrate opportunities for learners to self-evaluate, partner with peers and participate in small group collaborations.
Teaching is a reflective process of growing and developing, for me as well as for my learners. I learn with and from the health professionals I support. I encourage feedback on my teaching approaches and make a point of integrating any new ideas, strategies and critique that my learners or fellow faculty members suggest. In the sections which follow, I discuss My Teaching Journey and present My Curriculum Vitae.
Palmer, P. (1997). The courage to teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.