Relational learning in pediatric palliative care: transformative education and the culture of medicine

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2006 Jul;15(3):795-815. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2006.03.002.


The discrepancy between what is taught in formal educational settings and what is learned by practitioners in the informal flow of everyday practice has been called the hidden curriculum. In this article, the authors apply a well-documented range of concerns about the hidden curriculum and the erosion of professionalism to the arena of pediatric palliative care education. The authors propose that educational initiatives must always be grounded in the charged existential space of relationships among children, families,and practitioners, because the learning that matters most occurs within these relationships. The authors present an educational approach, which they call relational learning, and offer some preliminary strategies educators may wish to foster this kind of learning in their own health care organizations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Health Education*
  • Health Services / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Professional-Patient Relations