oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - To use a method without being ruled by it : learning supported by drama in the integration of theory with healthcare practice



The study reported in this paper focused on nursing students' learning and, in particular, their integration of caring science in theory and practice. An educational model incorporating educational drama was developed for implementation in three different teaching contexts within the nursing and midwifery study programmes at a Swedish college. A central aim was to understand the dynamics of educational drama in the healthcare context and its impact on learning and teaching. Using a phenomenological approach, seventeen students and six teachers were interviewed and their experience of drama as an educational method explored.

The research findings illustrate the meaning of learning and teaching that is sensitive to students' lifeworld experiences. In order to be a successful method for closing the gap between caring science theory and practice, not only the educational drama, but teaching in general, must be anchored in the lived world of the students - that is, their experiences of health and care. While embodied reflection, as a key factor in integrating theory and practice, was shown to be well supported by educational drama, it was also found that "the method" tends too readily to take over and govern teaching and learning. The findings of this study further indicate how learning in practice and embodied reflection can be supported by the inclusion of well-chosen caring science theory to cast light on caring practice dilemmas.


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