A Different Drum: An Arts-Based Educational Program

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Abstract

The authors in this article describe the background and development of a drama-based educational initiative for student nurses in the United Kingdom (UK) Forty-five student nurses from Adult and Mental-Health fields of study took part in a one-day experience where they worked alongside individuals with learning disabilities to produce art, dance, and drama sketches. The workshop was evaluated using a validated questionnaire to explore the experience from the students' perspectives. Students felt challenged as they were pushed beyond the comfort zone of a regular classroom environment. Moreover, a greater understanding of core concepts such as empathy, dignity, stigma, and social exclusion were identified as key outcomes of the experience. The focus for future work in this field is to explore the ways in which arts-based learning and teaching initiatives can be developed within mainstream curricula.

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