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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 61-64

Poetry in teaching pharmacology: Exploring the possibilities

1 Department of Pharmacology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Physiology, UCMS, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Pharmacology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
4 Department of Microbiology, Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, Assam, India
5 Department of Paediatrics, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Juhi Kalra
Department of Pharmacology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.193325

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Objectives: To explore poetry as a tool for active learning in linking knowledge and affective domains and to find if correlating learning with imagination can be used in “assessment for learning.” Materials and Methods: After taking a conventional lecture on Asthma, a creative writing assignment in the form of poetry writing was given to the students. Different triggers were given to the students to channelize their thought pattern in a given direction that was linked to specific areas of academic relevance. Students were asked to reflect on this learning experience and the faculty was asked to evaluate the student assignment on a 5-point Likert scale. Results: Most student groups scored well in the “overall assessment” of creative assignments and were rated as good or fair by the faculty. Students reflections were very informative and revealed that more than 90% of the students liked the exercise and many were too exuberant and liberal with emotional reactions that breathed positive. Around 5% students found the exercise average and another 5% found it very childish. Conclusion: Poetry writing turned out to be like a simulation exercise that linked academic knowledge, creativity, and the affective domain in an assumed scenario, rehearsed in free locales of mind. The metaphorical transition embedded in its subtle creation helped assess deeper understanding of the subject and the logical sequence of thought pattern. Key message: Poetry writing is like a simulation exercise that links academic knowledge, creativity and the affective domain in an assumed scenario, rehearsed in free locales of mind in the teaching of pharmacology. The richness of these student-generated creative projects indicates a need for reflective learning activities to be combined with subjective experiences, early in training.


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