Holistic Midwifery Education for Holistic Midwives: Reflecting on Personal Educational Philosophy and Pedagogy

Bella Madden


The following reflection articulates the genesis and development of my approach to Higher Education generally and midwifery education specifically over twenty years of teaching. It draws on the impact of my own experiences in HE as a student; the parallels between clinical and teaching practice, and the influence of a handful of key thinkers and texts that have helped me to elucidate the values that underpin my teaching practice. This is presented here as an explanation for the case studies that will follow which illustrate how the humanities can be integrated into classroom teaching in healthcare in ways that will deepen learning.  What follows is an explanation for why I think this is important.


holistic; interdisciplinary; pedagogy; reflection; emancipatory; critical

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Freire P (1972) Pedagogy of the oppressed. London: Penguin Books.

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McLellan J (2014) Claiming an Ethic of Care for midwifery. Nursing Ethics 21:7 803-811.

Madden I (2001) Hidden Agendas: Using reflection to explore and conceptualise the midwife/woman relationship during postnatal debriefing. MSc Thesis for Research and Evaluation, University of Luton.

Madden I (2002a) Midwifery Debriefing: in whose best interest? British Journal of Midwifery 10:10 631-634.

Madden (2002b) Working with Women Following Traumatic Childbirth. IN Johns 2002 Guided Reflection: Advancing Practice. Oxford: Blackwell Science.

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Orwell G. (2001) The Road to Wigan Pier. London: Penguin.

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University of Bedfordshire (2012) Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Department of Community Services Midwifery Curriculum Document.

Zull J (2004) The Art of Changing the Brain. Educational Leadership 62:1 68-72.


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