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Reflection as creative practice: an exploration of arts-based practice workshops with student midwives

02 July 2022
11 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 7

Abstract

Educators must use diverse tools to facilitate effective student learning, enabling students to translate taught theory into the professional practice environment. Reflection is an essential midwifery skill that is needed to practice effectively, and is often taught by exploring a variety of reflective models in a written format during undergraduate healthcare programmes. This article reports and evaluates the activities and experiences of facilitating innovative arts-based practice workshops using collage for student midwives and how they felt this contributed to their ability to successfully reflect. The article explores undertaking the art of reflection as a creative practice from both a lecturing and learning perspective, to explore student midwives' reflective abilities using alternative methods to the written word. Combining arts and science in a safe educational space provided students with an alternative way to view and explore their practice learning and reflection by using a holistic range of skills.

Reflection and reflective practice are professional midwifery requirements and as such form a vital part of each midwives' personal development and practice (Wain, 2017; Bass et al, 2020). Reflection is an educational strategy, improving students' capabilities to engage actively in their learning, to consider their practice learning with a critical and analytical lens and enhance their journey towards competent practice (Carter, et al, 2017; Gallagher et al, 2017). This reflective outlook commences at the outset of the journey to becoming a midwife, with student midwives learning reflective writing from the start of their undergraduate programmes. However, there is little literature about how student midwives experience the process of learning the art of reflection during their training and how they integrate reflective working at the outset of their careers (Gallagher et al, 2017; Bass et al, 2020).

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