Exploring arts-based pedagogies in nurse education: The A. R. T. E. framework

Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Kate Leonard, Wendy Couchman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Downloads (Pure)


The shift towards interest in the arts in healthcare has been concurrent with what we know about the social determinants of health. There are many different ways in which this work is described (arts in health, arts for health, arts and health). Active engagement in the arts is not just restricted to benefits for patients and service users but has also been shown to improve care environments with benefits for staff retention and continuing professional development. Eisner (2004), an educationalist, asserts that the arts have the power to stimulate creative and intuitive thinking beyond text and talk given how we experience the environment through our sensory system during the lifecourse. This helps individuals to articulate their experiences, to reflect on ambiguities and uncertainties in life and often to challenge and transform long-held feelings and attitudes. In this chapter we discuss how arts-based pedagogies facilitates the integrative and social model of health, and has opened the space for creative arts activities in healthcare education. We consider and discuss the potential for introducing and engaging with the ABP in nurse education. Writing from the perspective of our own knowledge and experiences as educators from the UK where we have been utilising novel approaches to education for nursing and social work. This has led us to experiment with the arts as a means of enriching and achieving more critical and activist pedagogies that impact on professional practice (Hafford-Letchfield et al., 2012; Leonard et al., 2016, 2018). Having conducted and evaluated a number of approaches, we will share our own learning and offer the ARTE (activate, research, teach, evaluate) framework. This framework has emerged from our enquiries and helps to conceptualise learning methods which address affective and cognitive domains within holistic approaches. The framework is put forward for potential use in managing the increasing complexity and uncertainty of practice alongside the acquisition of technical knowledge and skills in social work and nursing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Nurse Education
EditorsSue Dyson, Margaret McCallister
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2019


  • nursing
  • education
  • arts-based pedagogy
  • framework
  • healthcare teaching


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring arts-based pedagogies in nurse education: The A. R. T. E. framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this