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Dr. Danielle Macdonald PhD, RN
Dr. Danielle  Macdonald
Assistant Professor
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Teaching Philosophy

I have a relational approach to teaching and learning, which is rooted in my alignment with person-centredness, where all persons are respected, included, and co-constructors of their experiences, in health care and in education. My teaching philosophy centers around 4 values; respect, inclusion, co-learning, and shared responsibility. I believe my role as an educator is one of facilitation, to organize and guide participants in relation to learning outcomes.

I believe that all learning participants (myself included) share the responsibility of making contributions to a respectful and inclusive learning environment. My aim is to co-create learning environments where learners have a variety of ongoing opportunities to learn with and from each other, as well as independently. I am committed to life-long learning and I seek ongoing feedback from learners to inform how I can improve in order to enhance our learning. Specific to nursing education, I believe my role is to empower nursing students as they prepare for their careers in nursing, so that they can enter the profession with a solid foundation of confidence, critical thinking, and an understanding of how to apply evidence to their practices.


My program of research is focused on understandings global experiences of birthing care. I am specifically interested in midwifery and nursing experiences, the experiences of birthing people and their families, and collaboration. Building on strong community and professional partnerships the aims of this program of research are to:

  • Amplify voices of persons involved in birthing care who may be marginalized, or made vulnerable, by systems and structures that reinforce hierarchies of power in the provision and reception of birthing care.
  • Question assumptions about how birthing care is provided and received.
  • Examine how historical, cultural, and social values and beliefs influence current birthing care practices.
  • Explore the role of gender as it relates to providing and receiving birthing care.
  • Contribute to a reorientation of birthing care as a person-centred endeavour.

I situate myself within the paradigms of critical theory and constructivism, and I use qualitative methods and methodologies, including case study and feminist poststructuralism. Recognizing the importance of gender, and it’s intersections with other subject positions, I apply a gender lens to my research projects. I also have expertise with the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Systematic Review Methodology, specifically, the meta-aggregation of qualitative data.

In the Media

Sharing the Humanity of Birth | 5à7 - Research Talk:

The Interconnected Lives of Nurses and Midwives | CBC Radio All In A Day: