Exploring ‘self’ as a person-centred academic through critical creativity: a case study ofeducators in a school of nursing

Brendan McCormack, Brian McGowan, Mary McGonigle, Deborah Goode, Pauline Black, Marlene Sinclair

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© FoNS 2014 International Practice Development Journal 4 (2) [3]http://www.fons.org/library/journal.aspx1ORIGINAL PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCHExploring ‘self’ as a person-centred academic through critical creativity: a case study ofeducators in a school of nursingBrendan McCormack*, Brian McGowan, Mary McGonigle, Deborah Goode, Pauline Black andMarlene Sinclair*Corresponding author: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, ScotlandEmail:bmccormack@qmu.ac.ukSubmitted for publication: 6thMay 2014Accepted for publication: 11thAugust 2014AbstractBackground:Developing person-centred cultures is a key focus of practice development. To do sorequires engagement with learning approaches that are creative and critical. In preparing studentsfor a future as person-centred practitioners, educators need to engage with creative approaches tothe facilitation of learning. National standards in nursing (for example) as well as the internationalliterature on adult learning endorse the need for creativity in learning. Yet, educators continue to bechallenged to engage in creativity and to use creative learning strategies in their practice. This paperprovides a reflective overview of the experiences of a group of educators in one school of nursing whoparticipated in a programme of creative engagements that focused on exploring ‘self’ as a key conceptin person-centredness.Objectives:1.Explore through different media, contrasting aspects of ‘self’ as an educator2.Engage in playful activity in a safe space to explore own creativity and ways in which thiscreativity could be surfaced and integrated into everyday practice3.Through engaging with different media explore the potential of creativity in person-centredapproaches to teaching, learning and research4.Experience ‘risk taking’ in a facilitated environment in order to develop potential for meaningfulconnections with others – students and colleaguesConclusions:Through a systematic process of creative engagement, this critical reflection highlightsthe challenges associated with integrating creative engagement strategies in teaching and learning.The paper highlights in particular the challenges associated with ‘letting go’ in learning situations andthe importance of exploring ‘self’ in the context of person-centred learning processes.Implications for practice:Practice development depends on effective facilitation undertaken byfacilitators who are critical and creative. Whilst there is an increasing literature on facilitation modelsand processes, there is less attention paid to ‘understanding self’ as a facilitator of person-centredcultures. Practice development methodologies need to make such exploration an explicit part of theirwork in order to engage in authentic facilitation of learning and development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalInternational Practice Development Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2014


  • Keywords: Creativity
  • personhood
  • facilitation
  • critical creativity
  • engagement
  • authenticity.


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