Title of ArticleCelebrating Professor Jan Dewing
Type of ArticleEditorial
Author/sCaroline Dickson and Kate Sanders
ReferenceVolume 12, Issue 2, Editorial
Date of PublicationNovember 2022
KeywordsJan Dewing, older persons, person-centredness

In this editorial we would like to celebrate Professor Jan Dewing, who sadly died in August. Her relationship with us both was multidimensional. She was a colleague, mentor, educator, co-researcher, supervisor and co-supervisor, but also a friend. Her presence is deeply missed.

Our intention is not to provide a full account of Jan’s work and the influence it has and continues to have on individuals and practice. Instead, we start this celebration with personal accounts of our relationships with Jan and how it has influenced our development professionally. This is followed by a celebration of the ways in which we have experienced her contribution to the field of practice development and to participatory ways of working, person-centredness and person-centred practice.

Celebrating the person


Through my role at the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS), I was fortunate to work with Jan for more than 20 years. Initially this was through the activities of the International Practice Development Collaborative (IPDC), working to advance the theoretical base of practice development as a methodology for developing person-centred cultures. But we also facilitated many practice development schools and worked together to found and establish this journal. It was always a privilege to be exposed to Jan’s wealth of knowledge and experience of person-centred, critical and creative, and participatory approaches to learning, and the development of persons, practice and cultures. She constantly encouraged me to move to the edge of my comfort zone and beyond, ultimately leading to me to undertake my doctoral studies. As a supervisor, Jan walked alongside, helping my explorations to go further and deeper, facilitating my progression as a person-centred researcher and facilitator. Her influence on my ways of knowing, doing and being will continue.


I began working with Jan in 2015 when she became the Sue Pembrey Chair in Nursing at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (QMU). In that role she became the head of the graduate school and director of the Centre for Person-centred Practice Research (CPCPR). As a scholar in person-centredness and person-centred practice, she researched and published extensively, particularly in the fields of care of older people and the development of person-centred cultures. However, she was also committed to developing others. Jan was a colleague but also my mentor, helping me to develop as a person-centred facilitator, researcher and research supervisor. As an early career researcher, I was keen to learn from Jan and she was generous with her time, her wisdom, her support and challenge!!! With her help, I learned about the importance of preparation, being open to critical questioning and feedback. Jan encouraged and helped me prepare for my role at the IPDJ as co-academic editor and celebrated my success in securing the position. She was a catalyst for my involvement with the IPDC and the Person-centred Practice Research International Community of Practice (PcP-ICoP). She also encouraged me to consider impact in everything I do and to turn that into evidence for further progression as an educator and researcher. She continues to be a guiding light for me.

This article by Caroline Dickson and Kate Sanders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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