Conceptualizations of praxis in nursing education: Marxian and Freireian influences




McIntosh, Ann

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Praxis in nursing education is seen as both a process for emancipating nurses from oppressive practices within health care institutions, and as a pedagogical theory for freeing teachers and students from behaviorist methodologies in educational settings, and yet the meaning of this word is not clearly explicated. Most interpretations of praxis are based on education theorist Paulo Freire’s conceptualization, which posits praxis as: “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it” (Freire, 1970/2009, p. 51). The ontology that informs this view of praxis however, is not always well understood by nurse educators. Freire’s work was greatly influenced by Georg Hegel and Karl Marx. In this paper, the ontologies of Hegel, Marx, and Freire are explored in order to reveal differences between each of the perspectives, thus enabling nurse educators to consider how these ontologies align with their own views of nursing.



praxis, nursing, ontology, Freire, Marx