Mandala making to foster understanding of theoretical concepts in nursing education: Stress and coping

Jennifer L. Lapum, Karen Owusu, Andy N. Tan, Simran Rattan, Phung P.N. Nguyen, Einav T. Simoni, Charlotte T. Lee


Opportunities for reflection upon theoretical concepts are a pedagogical necessity in nursing education. Arts-based teaching-learning methods, such as mandala making, can prompt narrative reflection and self-awareness. In this article, we discuss a teaching-learning activity that involved mandala making to facilitate nursing students’ theoretical understanding of health- and illness-related concepts specific to stress and coping. We begin by describing the activity followed by narrative reflections and mandalas from five students. We then share lessons learned in the context of the literature. We suggest that aesthetic narrative probes strengthen the mandala making process and foster deep reflection on theoretical concepts in nursing education.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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