The use of narrative in the development of critical thinking

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This paper describes an approach to assessment aimed at developing critical skills in the production of arguments concerning contemporary issues in health. It is demonstrated that, in teaching from a constructivist position of knowledge, students can be cautious in producing assignments because of the relativist characteristic of constructivism. It is proposed that students could be more open and flexible in their approach to assessment and the use of cooperative working through the creation of narratives. It is suggested that narratives can provide an accessible and heuristic process from which academic accounts may be built. The use of narratives in taking the students from their everyday thinking to academic accounts is presented in relation to four teaching sessions. The use of this approach is in turn evaluated by students’ narratives of their learning experience. Of 30 narratives obtained from students, analysis demonstrated that 21 accounts expressed aspects associated with the development of critical thinking. Nine students voiced some dissatisfaction with the assessment process, and further work to remedy these problems is outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-518
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2000

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