Poetry writing and artistic ability in problem-based learning

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Problem-based learning (PBL) is a teaching and learning approach that is widely used in healthcare education. It has similarly been suggested that poetry writing offers students a way to express their feelings and emotions related to clinical issues, medical education, and their relationship with patients. The rhythmic structure and temporal organisation of poetry allow students to remember poetry more easily than prose, suggesting that important and detailed information could be better memorised through poetic text. To report on how poetry writing and reciting was used in a PBL class in nursing to enhance the students' artistic ability, and on the students' perspectives on artistry in their learning. This paper presented a part of results of a main educational study where data were collected through lesson observations, reflective notes, and a follow-up interview. A total of 17 Hong Kong students were encouraged to collaborate in groups and write English poems based on a clinical case. A content analysis was conducted on their reflective notes and narratives were extracted from an interview. Although the students learned about cooperation, creativity, thinking, stress management, how to make lively presentations, deep learning, long-term memory, and professional knowledge, they expressed that the above were indirectly related to artistry. Scholars from the fields of both health related disciplines and literature should collaborate in researching and developing some learning and teaching activities which can further enhance the students' artistic ability so as to let them learn about empathy and understand patients' sufferings and illness experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • artistic ability
  • poem
  • problem-based learning (PBL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Sensory Systems
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing
  • Speech and Hearing


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