A Teaching Philosophy
My Teaching style is driven by the students' learning styles. Nursing is an engaged profession and for a student
to be successful in the profession of nursing, engaged student centered learning demands the attention of both teacher and
learner. Focusing on student centered/engaged learning, the research and background in teaching of Dr. Richard M. Felder,
the Hechst Celanese Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineer at North Carolina State University has captured my attention
He has written several books, has contributed to over 200 publications to the fields of science and engineering education
and shares much of what he has learned in monthly informational commentary such as his publication called "Random
Thoughts". Because engaged learning, active learning and collaborative teaching strategies along with lecture are
used in the classes I teach, I enjoy reading informational literature which applies the prinicples of these teaching stragegies
and learning styles. Dr. Felder "gets it" that students do not like engaged learning. "The teacher made us
do all of the work!" "The teacher gets paid to teach us!" "I paid for an education that I am not getting!"
According to Dr. Felder, faculty who have delivered content to be learned via the lecture method and switched to engaged learning
may have found a drop in their student ratings (Felder, 2011).
Engineering and nursing are much alike owning to their operational styles. If the faculty is
to facilitate the learning environment of the student through engaged/active and collaborative learning, much of the burden
of learning will shift to the student. The student quickly realizes this and this fact generates much resentment from
the students (Felder 2011).
of an analogy of purchasing a gym membership to paying tuition. The payment is separate from the work required for results.
If achieving the benefits of using a gym could be attained merely from the purchase of that membership the process of toning
the body and losing weight would be fairly simple and easy. The fact is, it is not. The student does have to be involved
in his/her learning; the student would need to be motivated to learn, willing to invest the time in the learning process as
well as possess an educational work ethic.
believe learning is social, occurs in different ways and at different rates yet it needs to take place in a safe, supportive
and stimulating environment. Learning is the formulation and building of knowledge allowing the learner to become involved
in making meaningful connections in the profession through engaged/active learning. Research shows that learning by doing
enhances retention over spans of time as opposed to straight lecture of large volumes of information; the attention span of
the students continues to "fall off" after the first fifteen minutes of the lecture (Stuart and Rutherford, 1978).
I believe in varying the delivery of content to be
learned with lecture and active/engaged learning; I believe all students can learn. I believe teaching effectively is
a matter of matching teaching styles with the learning styles of students. I believe in effective teaching; I believe in education.
Felder, R. (2011). Hang in There! Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns
Stuart, J. & Rutherford, R.J. (1978). Medical students
concentration during medical lectures. Lancet 2: 514-516.