II Affective Concepts, Strategies, and Methods

You cannot solve the problems of today with the same thinking that caused them.—Albert Einstein

Building an Infrastructure for Affective-Literate Teachers

As we look at what is going on in many classrooms, we may be satisfied with what we see. Maybe we are teaching and suddenly think about the need to make the content more impactful by add-

ing some new form of affective teaching method. Some may pull something out of their tool box of pedagogical strategies without realizing what it is they are really doing, and it just works. There are many levels of affective teaching, and some are certainly more risky than others. Research (Ondrejka, 1998) has taught us that faculty who are considered excellent teachers provide a variety of affective teaching methods, but they rarely have language to describe what it is they are doing.


Affective theories and practices have been used within the care paradigm of practice extensively in the 1990s and into the early 21st century. Several nursing authors have provided information on how care is viewed and used (Bevis & Watson, 1989; Gaut, 1992; Harrison, 1995; Hughes, 1995; Leininger & Watson, 1990; Schoenly, 1994; and Woods, 1993). All have suggested that teaching practices that encompass affective education are essential within nursing practice. Most of these authors define the affective domain as the art of nursing. They

discuss affective literacy in the context of morals and values education using a host of strategies in keeping with the focus of the first nursing text on affective teaching by King (1984). King recommended the use of several affective methods of teaching in classrooms, which were discussed earlier:

1. Group discussion

2. Case studies

3. Role playing

4. Simulation gaming

Harrison (1995) also supported the idea of understanding through caring and the ethical knowing domain, while advocating the personal knowing of self as a primary tool to be used in nursing education.

Bevis and Watson (1989) suggested that the educator's challenge is complex, and that meaningful changes require changes in faculty attitudes. Faculty set the stage for defining the classroom culture, and it is faculty who make choices on shaping that culture. Bevis and Watson describe how faculty members need to foster a more affectively appropriate classroom by supporting:

. . . [p]ermission giving, practice, and group approval for the normal warmth, concern, caring, and moral rectitude that characterize most nursing teachers. A climate of validation of self-worth; of wholeness; of perfect person; of good intent; of respect for one's needs, integrity, life choices, [life] styles; and personal and professional values is created in agreement and effort together. (p. 176)

Bevis and Watson present arguments and discussions regarding the care curriculum that include a paradigm shift in learning typology, teacher–student shifts with a focus on relationship building, and holistic, educative instruction. The concept of care goes beyond empathy and has a goal of connection rather than achievement. The idea of connection and holistic educative strategies supports the use of affective methods in Bevis and Watson's paradigm. In a similar examination of care practices by Montgomery (1992), caring pedagogy is described as connection beyond the ego and is called a “transcending experience” (p. 50). Miller, Haber, and Byrne (1992) also suggest five themes that describe the attributes of care behavior. Care behaviors that are a part of pedagogy and classroom culture include:

1. Holistic understanding

2. Connectedness and shared humanness

3. Presence

4. Anticipating and monitoring needs

5. Going beyond the mechanical

Many of these classroom norms are similar to the underpinnings and constructs of Gestalt psychology, humanistic psychology, and psychodrama with an emphasis on the intersubjective and relational knowing. This is easy to state, but the practical application is still challenging.

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