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Putting ourselves in the picture: art workshops in the professional development of university lecturers

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Nurse education is characterised by dissonance, ambiguity and uncertainty. Such a context makes demands on the educator's authenticity or sense of self. This paper reports an attempt to provide a space where dissonance, ambiguity and uncertainty could be held, tolerated and examined and where authenticity could be recovered or developed through the practice of artistry. Three art workshops were offered to eight nurse educators over a period of three months. Each of the participants and the co-facilitator were subsequently interviewed. All welcomed the opportunity to find meaning in their practice and to be listened to in a climate of empathy, acceptance and congruence. They undertook novel activities that allowed for discovery and surprise. They explored their sense of self and coined fresh metaphors to communicate their experiences. The paper argues that there is room for approaches to academic staff development that go against the mainstream. La formation des infirmieres se caracterise par la dissonance, l'ambiguite et l'incertitude. Un tel contexte exerce des pressions sur l'authenticite et le sens de soi d'un educateur. Cet article rend compte d'une tentative de fournir un espace ou l'authenticite peut etre redecouverte et developpee au moyen de la pratique artistique. Trois ateliers artistiques ont ete offerts a huit formateurs d'infirmieres sur une periode de trois mois. Des entretiens ont ete effectues aupres de chaque participant et du co-facilitateur. Les repondants ont tous accueilli l'occasion de trouver un sens a leur pratique et de pouvoir etre ecoute dans un climat d'empathie, d'acceptation et d'harmonie. Ceux-ci on entrepris des activites nouvelles faisant place a la decouverte et a la surprise. Ils ont explore leur sens de soi et ont trouve de nouvelles metaphores pour communiquer leurs experiences. Cet article defend l'idee que des activites de developpement pedagogique qui vont a l'encontre de la majorite ont leur place.

Keywords: art workshops; professional development; university lecturers

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Napier University and University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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