Initiative from School of Nursing & Health Sciences highlighted at Discovery Days 2017
New students at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences are being encouraged to read novels and biographies -- and discuss them on Facebook – to help them learn more about health and social care.
ASK4Books is an initiative from Dr Linda McSwiggan and Dr Linda Martindale, who recognised the benefits of preparatory reading when many students begin their studies with no prior experience of working in healthcare.
They hope that reading and discussing reading material related to the field will give new nursing undergraduates an insight into some of the challenges faced by patients, carers, families and healthcare professionals -- exploring topics like euthanasia, dementia, loss and learning disability.
The project launched during Fresher’s week last year with a ‘Pitch session’, where six book enthusiasts including authors and University staff -- made the case for their favourite book and competed for students’ votes.
The books pitched included Mark Haddon’s 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Costa Book of the Year 2013 The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.
The inaugural ASK4BOOKS winner was Seconds to Snap by Tina McGuff, a biographical novel about a Dundee girl’s battle with anorexia.
Dr McSwiggan said:
“The students were clearly moved by Tina’s brutally honest account of her life-changing experiences, and inspired by her recovery and achievements.”
“ASK4Books has been integrated into the undergraduate Academic Skills and Knowledge (ASK) module – which Linda and I lead -- in a way that aims to also develop students’ academic skills.”
“For example, students were asked to compare writing styles in different texts to develop their awareness and critical thinking skills.”
The potential of ASK4Books has already been recognised by the University of Dundee, winning the 2016 Honorary Graduates’ Teaching Award for Inclusive Practice, alongside £1000 to turn the idea into a reality.
Both Dr McSwiggan and Dr Martindale are set to showcase the project as part of the University of Dundee’s Discovery Days 2017 later this week.
Discovery Days gives you the chance to hear some of our newest professors discussing their research -- and the ideas that inspire them.
The event takes place on Friday 13th January, from 9am - 5pm in the Dalhousie Building on Main Campus.
Everyone is welcome, including school pupils, members of the public, University staff and students.
For a full timetable, please visit the the main University events page.
For more information on ASK4Books, visit their Facebook page.