Metaphorical Inquiry in the “Cirque du Soleil” of Teaching Graduate Nurses

By Kathryn Weaver.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Metaphorical inquiry can foster authenticity, deep thinking into practice, and safety. In teaching a nursing graduate learning theories course, metaphors are used to showcase meaningful teaching experiences. Accordingly, the classroom transforms into invitational and creative space akin to the Cirque du Soleil, with preparation and practice of the material, adaptation, and ad lib performance when cues are missed or stage fright strikes. The Cirque du Soleil metaphor acknowledges the hard work of performing multiple roles during the instructional period and the need to perform as a team. Student engagement in metaphor creation and the reciprocal learning that this brings is enhanced when the lines between teacher and student, traditional and creative, and audience and performer are intentionally blurred. Conceptualization of a safety net of support, constructed to cover the risky moments when tacit assumptions embedded in practice emerge unpredictably and without the care of reflective examination, helps transform situations of potential threat into further opportunities for professional growth.

Keywords: Metaphorical Inquiry, Practice, Nurse Education

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 9, Issue 2, February 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 364.880KB).

Dr. Kathryn Weaver

Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada