Critical Caring Pedagogy

Contributors: Peggy Chinn & Adeline Falk-Rafael
August 20, 2018

Authors: Peggy L Chinn, RN, PhD, FAAN and Adeline Falk-Rafael, PhD, RN, FAAN
See Exemplar: Teaching/Learning based on Critical Caring Pedagogy
First Published: 2018

Chinn, P. L., & Falk-Rafael, A. (2018). Embracing the Focus of the Discipline of Nursing: Critical Caring Pedagogy. Journal of nursing scholarship: an official publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing / Sigma Theta Tau, 50(6), 687–984. Retrieved from

Major Concepts
  • Critical Caring,
  • Critical caring health promoting processes (CCHPP),
  • Praxis,
  • Empowerment,
  • Awareness,
  • Cooperation,
  • Evolvement,
  • Noddings’ philosophy of caring education,
  • Peace and Power

This is a theoretical framework upon which nursing teaching and learning can be designed. It incorporates the theory of critical caring, Nel Noddings’ philosophy of caring education, and the Peace and Power heuristic of group process.

Brief Description

This theoretical model grounds nursing teaching and learning in the focus, values, and ideals of nursing as a discipline. The model was formed by integrating Falk-Rafael’s theory of critical caring in public health nursing, Noddings’ philosophy of caring education, and Chinn’s theory of Peace and Power. The development of the model was informed by the authors’ experiences implementing these theoretical constructs in teaching and learning.  Critical Caring Theory provides the conceptual structure that guides essential content and practice experiences. Noddings’ philosophy of caring education guides teacher actions and choices. Peace and Power defines the nature of interactions and group processes in the teaching/learning experience.

The framework is based on the assumption that when nurse educators ground teaching and learning practice in nursing’s own theoretical and philosophic foundation, they teach nursing in powerful ways that show nursing values and ideals through action, revealing deeper meanings of the words that form texts, lectures and objectives set forth in a curriculum outline.


Peggy L. Chinn (1941 – )

Dr. Chinn is Professor Emerita of Nursing at the University of Connecticut. She is the founding Editor of Advances in Nursing Science and authors books and journal articles on nursing theory, feminism and nursing, the art of nursing, and nursing education. She is co-founder and web manager of the Nurse Manifest Project to inspire and empower grass-roots action by nurses to shape the future of nursing and health care based on nursing’s fundamental values. Her book and website focused on cooperative group process, Peace and Power, is grounded in critical feminist theory and nursing philosophy, and is recognized as a model for critical research methods, teaching and learning, and political action.

Adeline Falk-Rafael (1943 – )

Dr. Falk-Rafael is a senior scholar at York University, School of Nursing in Toronto, Canada. During her career, she held a number of leadership positions, including Director of that School and President of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Since 2004, her scholarship has focused on Critical Caring, a mid-range theory she originally developed for public health nursing.