The humanistic theory presents relevant points for nursing education. Various experts consider humanism as an inherent part of the change in nursing philosophy as it covers the multinational population including different practice needs. The specific concern of humanism being an educational theory is on the dignity of autonomy of man (Billings and Halstead, 2009). Humanism arises from existentialism which directed most of its activities on focusing on the role of the individual in terms of his commitment and personal choice. Educators who support the humanist philosophy of education support a setting where students are primarily responsible for their learning, focusing on the freedom of choice within the educational process. The student directs learning and the educator is the guide (Purdy, 1997).
The educator makes the most of the student’ s personal learning and development, supporting the student as he matures as a person and as a learner; and also supporting the non-authoritarian applications in the educational process. The educator also helps the student reach self-actualization which as discussed by Maslow (1954) involves the full exploitation of talents and potential. Humanist learning must indicate a chance for the student to learn via different experiences, reflecting on them fully, thereby promoting self-knowledge (Billings and Halstead, 2009). The general goal of this humanistic theory is to help learnings in securing and reaching their maximum potential. As such, its application as a learning theory, in this case, is very much appropriate.
This teaching model is based on the elements of humanism, existentialism, and phenomenology. The principles of humanism provide value to individuals including the responsibility of human beings with each other (Kleiman, 2007). Individuals who want to become nurses protect such responsibility via their patient interactions. This theory incorporates humanism with the existential conceptualization of patient and nursing experiences and the meanings which they give to such experiences.
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