The Development of Students Emotional Self-awareness through Creative Images.


Author(s) Beryl Mansel


The aim of this presentation is to introduce delegates to the notion of utilising creative imagery as a tool of reflection in order to develop student’s emotional self-awareness. By the end of the session delegates will be able to – discuss the impact of utilising creative images as tools of reflection – apply this methodology to own teaching practice. – evaluate the effectiveness of a tool for guiding reflection utilising creative imagery


The Presentation A 15 minute power point presentation will initially engage the delegates by a series of images in order to evoke own emotions. Careful consideration will be given to these images as they can evoke past memories which can be surprisingly moving. The delegates will be provided the link of theory to practice and offered feedback of the evaluation and impact for student learning. The emotional contagion will capture the delegate’s interest and consider the application of this innovative reflective practice to own teaching methods. Theory to Practice Emotionally intelligent qualities in healthcare ensures high standards of safe patient care (Akerjordet & Severinsson 2008; 2010). ‘Self-awareness is at the heart of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and enables a person to discern, describe and understand their feelings, creating a guide for their behaviour’ (Mansel, 2017, p. 29). Self-awareness is an essential skill underpinning reflective practice. In order to care for others, across all fields of nursing, it is a necessary requirement to develop effective skills as a reflective practitioner. Reflection can be described as a method in which professionals internally examine and explore issues triggered by an experience (Schon, 1983; Johns, 2010). This is a focused attempt to discover personal meanings and tacit knowledge gained from professional nursing encounters and interaction with others. Social interaction and collaboration are essential components of situated learning. In situated learning, engagement of both the cognitive and affective domains influences individual learning (Byers et al., 2015). Emotional aspects therefore contribute to the learning process alongside cognition. Images could be considered an appropriate tool for reflection as it is recognised they can generate both cognitive and emotional responses in the viewer. In order to gain a different perspective and greater awareness of self, an innovative approach using images to help students evoke critical thinking and reflection is proposed. By engaging in their own and others reflection, the expression of creativity and personal understanding is shared upon their journey of self-discovery and improved emotional self-awareness resulting in an improvement of professional interaction. A creative reflective student-led session was proposed for one mental health group and one adult group on the Pre-registration Nursing Programme upon their return to University from clinical placement. Prior to the interactive session students will be requested to independently select an image they feel depict emotion/s experienced during their recent clinical practice to be shared within the session. A framework was devised based upon Borton (1970) and will be offered to the students as a guide for their reflection and facilitate depth of discussion. As with any reflective sessions the students will be reminded of boundaries, confidentiality and promotion of patient safety within their discussions. Both sessions will be evaluated. Evaluation of the students learning is an inherent part of good teaching and it is essential to try and identify good practice and which areas require changing to inform and improve future teaching practice. The four steps of Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick (1994) model is recommended for full and meaningful feedback of learning.

Key Words

Situated Learning, Creative Images, Reflection, Emotional Self-awareness, Student Nurses.

Key Messages

The impact that creative imagery has upon self-reflection The ability to recognise own emotional self-awareness in creative imagery Students receive an excellent learning experience through creative imagery which drives up engagement


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