University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Developing Critical Reflection and Critical Thinking Skills – Exercises to Encourage Student Engagement

Carter, Christine and Bray, Jennifer ORCID: (2019) Developing Critical Reflection and Critical Thinking Skills – Exercises to Encourage Student Engagement. In: University of Worcester Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, 12th - 13th June 2019, Worcester. (Unpublished)

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The ability to critically reflect is a key skill required by students but can be taken for granted. Additionally, the difficulty of developing such skills is often underestimated, especially when students are not used to working in that way. Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses, work predominantly with carers on a long-term basis, often in complex family situations. While they have a broad range of clinical, practical and psychological skills, they are also required to engage with their Competency Framework through critical conversations and discussions of supporting evidence they have collected. Two exercises have been used with Admiral Nurses on the University of Worcester’s Masters level module to help develop different aspects of critical reflection, moving from a theoretical understanding to using the skills in practice.
Firstly, an art exercise was used to encourage peer support and enable the Admiral Nurses to experience the process of critical reflection in a practical way rather than following a theoretical model. Secondly, therapeutic letter writing involved thinking about writing a letter to a member of a family they are working with, focusing on their own reflections of an interaction and identifying the strengths present within that family relationship.
Both exercises provoked positive and powerful responses from the Admiral Nurses, even though they would not initially appear to be obvious choices for this student group. The underlying principles make them useful exercises for different student groups where the practical application of critical reflection is required, and would transfer readily to a variety of subject areas.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: critical refection, critical thinking, student engagement, Admiral Nurses, dementia care nurses
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jennifer Bray
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 19:20
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:31

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