Evoking the invisible: creative pedagogies and methodologies for transforming interprofessional education

Authors: Hutchings, M. and Quinney, C.

Start date: 4 September 2018

Background The UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing [1] identified the significant contribution that arts-based approaches make in improving health and wellbeing yet their efficacy in supporting interprofessional learning and collaborative practice is under-researched. Photo-elicitation and photo voice offer innovative qualitative participatory research methodologies and rich pedagogic approaches for generating person-centred, creative and connected insights in the caring professions. They provide effective tools for tapping into sensory awareness [2] and facilitating reflexive learning on human situations from learning to care with compassion to understanding and empowering marginalised and disadvantaged groups [3, 4], with added value for facilitating IPE.

Aim The presenters will share experiences of using photo-elicitation as a powerful trigger for learning and enriching research methodology with important implications for improving IPE through generating embodied, participatory and collaborative understanding and praxis with students, academics and practitioners across disciplines.

Methods Photo-elicitation and photo-voice are derived from anthropology and sociology [5]. Participants use photographs provided by the educator or researcher, or take their own photographs, to explore and illuminate complex ideas and themes. This method of seeing, imagining, and sharing promotes critical dialogue and reflection, and elicits embodied ways of knowing, distinct yet frequently hidden, in the humanising connectivity with people’s lived experiences, unwrapped and gifted [6].

Results We will identify the relevance and implications for IPE by drawing on evidence from (a) photo-elicitation with undergraduates, exploring humanisation concepts including ‘what it means to be human’ and how to re-present ‘dignity’ in care, informed by the humanising theoretical framework [7]; (b) photo-voice deployed in research on non-traditional students’ experiences of higher education; (c) research seminars, using visual and narrative approaches, for exploring evidence to guide professional practice, contributing to transformative approaches in education, and enriching research data and findings; and (d) public engagement events to understand people’s connections with the seaside, its purpose and place in their lives as a source of health and wellbeing.

Discussion/Conclusion Photo-elicitation can create immediate and deep immersion in the tenets of humanisation, often difficult to express in words, illuminating the importance of events, artefacts, and places embodied as experiences, to enable stronger connections with people’s lives. Photo-elicitation strategies can be readily integrated into creative pedagogic practice, qualitative research, and improving IPE and IP practice by sensitising us to our shared humanity.

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