International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleUsing creative writing to explore facilitation skills in practice
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection on Practice Development
Author/sAnn Price, Kathrin Hirter, Clare Lippiatt and Kerry O’Neill
ReferenceVolume 6, Issue 1, Article 11
Date of PublicationMay 2016
Keywordscreative writing, facilitation, practice development

Background: Facilitation skills are key to the effective use of practice development strategies. Students on a masters degree in practice development and innovation undertake a module on facilitation skills that incorporates the use of a creative writing piece to explore facilitation. The aim of this article is to critically reflect on the use of creative writing within an assignment from the lecturer’s perspective.

Critical reflection: The Rolfe et al. (2001) model of reflection will be used to structure the reflections, considering the questions ‘What?’, ‘So what?’ and ‘Now what?’.  This will form the basis of a discussion of concerns about the assessment method, students’ thoughts, relationship to practice development and evidence of effectiveness of the strategy.  Examples of creative writing from the students will be used to demonstrate the diversity of the approach.

Ethics: All students have given permission for their work to be included.

Discussion: Using creative writing can be freeing for students as they can use their voice to explore a topic. For the lecturer, courage is needed to facilitate this expression but it is rewarding as it links to the principles of practice development to embed new ways of working. Important within the process is the need to give students ‘permission’ to use a non-traditional style of writing; lecturers may benefit from practising the technique themselves to feel comfortable with the creative writing strategy.

Conclusion: Creative writing offered an opportunity to explore facilitation in different ways and relate it to different aspects of real and imagined life. This paper shows that creative writing can be used successfully by students to engage in novel ways of thinking. However, future actions identify the importance of guidance regarding relevance to academia and ensuring the lecturer is familiar with the aim and techniques of the process when using it for masters-level assessment.

Implications for practice:

  • Creative writing may empower students to change their approach to practice development
  • Lecturers need effective ways to facilitate this process
  • Facilitative questioning offers a novel way to challenge and support students’ ideas

This article by Ann Price, Kathrin Hirter, Clare Lippiatt and Kerry O’Neill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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