AFFECTIVE TEACHING PRACTICES
Educators are using many forms of affective pedagogy, and nursing certainly uses a certain set of methods regularly. The goal of this section is to partner with your teaching practice regardless of why you are reading this book.
■ You may be someone who has been looking for others to join you in your affective teaching strategies and build more skills together.
■ You may be someone who has been doing many powerful classroom strategies but never knew what to call it; we can assist you with a taxonomy in that effort.
■ You may be a critic and have no intention of integrating this material— again, we may be able to convince you.
Regardless of how these methods are used, keep in mind that our teaching methods should be designed to enhance student learning. Here we are cognizant of the findings of Benner et al. (2010), and point to affective methods that engage students and promote student-learning outcomes. The domains for this section are related to aesthetic knowing, ethical knowing, critical reflections, experiential barrier breaking, and some Gestalt methods. In addition, this section offers you the integration of using presence, immediacy, and care theory within the classroom, and what that looks like for the instructor.
Taking the Arts to Heart
The arts are all around us, giving us insight into our inner story. Art is found in film, theater, images, poetry, music, and literature of all types. The key to art is how one's inner self interprets it. In some cases, it is about the statement being made by the author of the art. Although this section could be a book unto itself, our mission here is simply to see how we can use this knowledge in the classroom. We have all studied some aspect of art and literature in our transition to being clinicians, educators, or just being students. Somewhere we were asked to take general education courses in our academic movement through life. Here, we use the arts to explore an expression of our inner selves. When used affectively, the arts are possibly more authentic than what we present to others each day, and yet they may be another mask in our lives that is able to give us a bit more clarity about who we really are.
Literature and Poetry
Carper's (1978) groundbreaking work that was expanded by Jacobs-Kramer and Chinn (1992) describes four classical domains of knowing with one of them described as aesthetic. We are able to learn from reading literature in this domain, but sometimes the inner knowing (affective) doesn't take place immediately—it could take years. This is somewhat painful for the instructor who may have been anticipating an inner awareness taking place before the end of the quarter or semester. Beyond the confusion about when a student might have such an insight is the struggle of how any person might view himself or herself from a piece of literature. As an example of how we could use literature to discover our inner selves, let's look at a poem by Emily Dickinson:
Tell all the Truth but tell it slant— Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infi m Delight The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind
(Emily Dickinson, in Parker, 2004)
This poem would allow for a host of discussions and affective learning pieces. Some potential discussion points on this topic follow.
■ Where am I allowed to be bold in my speech?
■ Do I need to be politically wise when speaking as a nurse?
■ How would we integrate polite accuracy when dealing with an issue?
■ Do I really need to have truth come out gradually? What happens if I don't do that?
These are powerful questions that could be used in a discussion regarding our ability to address peer, student, or even physician performance within our practices. Attempt to answer some of the questions listed above for yourself and imagine having this discussion in a classroom. This could be a very powerful tool for affective learning. There seems to be an endless supply of literature, poems, and phrases to use for such work.