Hiram College
Connie Stopper, Ph.D. (Retired) Photo

Connie Stopper, Ph.D. (Retired)


B.S.N., Kent State University
M.Ed., Kent State University
M.S.N., The Ohio State University
Ph.D., University of Kansas

Sample syllabi:  NURS 20100 | NURS 42000

Teaching Philosophy

Life is a process of learning. From birth through the process of dying each person draws from within themselves and from the environment information and perceptions that influence and form the ways in which an individual responds to life. Education is a formal process involving individuals engaged in a systematic, sequential, logical, evidence-based plan for learning. It involves knowledge, skills, and values.

As a young person and beginning educator my focus was on a predetermined core of knowledge determined to be essential within a course of study and passed on from the teacher to the learner. My teaching approach was a modeling of what I had learned and consisted of formal lectures followed by competency testing. Teaching in the clinical arena was to provide verification of the ability to apply content from the classroom to the patient care setting. Very quickly I realized my own discomfort with the methods learned and identified the need to reflect upon and formulate my own beliefs about this process. I discovered that as a teacher, I am also learner and together with the student we both continue to develop. It is in this interpersonal relationship that the student can best learn and develop as a person and professional. An awareness of my responsibility for education beyond the student became evident as it relates to colleague relationships, the college community, and the professional setting.

What has evolved as core to my philosophy of education as it relates to nursing is that education is a process of acquiring new knowledge, skills, and understandings and integrating these into ways of being as a professional and leader in nursing and health care. Education involves a relationship characterized by respect and trust between the learner and the educator. Each has a set of responsibilities during the time they are together. For myself as faculty, these responsibilities include: 1) assessing the learning needs and readiness of the student as accurately as possible; 2) in partnership with the student, identifying barriers and facilitators of the learning process for each student; 3) providing methods for increasing student self-awareness of their learning needs, barriers and readiness; 4) defining the objectives and core content for each experience as well as creatively presenting content in a way to minimize barriers to learning; 5) clearly articulating expectations and desired outcomes; 6) teaching methods  of inquiry that facilitate responsibility of the student for their own learning; 7) applying methods for engaging the student in learning; and, 8) providing the means for students to measure their progress in learning the knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential to the development of a professional. In addition, it requires that I, as faculty, engage in scholarly activity aimed at keeping current and contributing to knowledge development, application, integration, dissemination, and evaluation.

It is within my philosophy of education that nurse educator responsibility extends to colleagues and the education and health care/nursing community. Entering into dialogue with colleagues about the learning process is essential to the development of a culture of learning that is supportive to the learning process. It is important that dialogue also ensue with influential health care providers where students have experience and that as educator, I serve as a catalyst for strengthening the environment of learning.

Classes Taught

  • Intro to Professional Nursing
  • Professional Nursing II
  • Professional Nursing III
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Principles of Leadership & Management in Nursing
  • Role Transition in Nursing

(view full curriculum vitae)