Performance Ethnography as an Approach to Health-Related Education

Sep. 01, 2010

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 18, Issue 3, p. 373 – 388. (September 2010).


This paper examines the educational potential of an arts-informed performance ethnography entitled Across the Tamar, which comprises a series of stories, songs and poems.

As a classroom action research project - a 'teaching experiment' – the authors gave three performances to undergraduate and postgraduate sport and health science, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy students at two universities in the United Kingdom.
Drawing on data that comprise the written responses of 126 students, the authors explore the learning processes evident in the students' accounts.

Student responses suggest that through privileging personal, embodied and emotive stories, the performance stimulated alternative insights into older women's lives and provoked them to reflect on this new knowledge in the context of their own lives.

By considering student responses in relation to narrative theory, the authors explore how performance ethnography can contribute to learning, critical reflection and transformation among students more familiar with scientific approaches to research and teaching.


Updated: Jan. 23, 2011