The self in self-awareness

Authors

  • Stephen H. Cook MA BA DipNED RN

    1. Senior Lecturer, Mental Health Nursing, Middlesex University, School of Health, Biological & Environmental Sciences, London
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Stephen H. Cook Mental Health Nursing, Middlesex University, School of Health, Biological and Environmental Sciences, 10 Highgate Hill, London N19 5ND. E-mail: s.cook@mdx.ac.uk

Abstract

The self in self-awareness

The concepts of ‘self’ and ‘person’ are central to educational and therapeutic endeavours. This paper examines the emergence of ‘self-awareness’ as an explicit concern in the education of preregistration nurses. In particular, it questions the claims that specific experiential learning strategies are the most appropriate for promoting self-awareness in students, and that these strategies produce greater understanding of theory in students and give greater depth of meaning to theory for students. It argues that the long and complex history associated with the concepts of self, self-awareness and ‘person’ makes the unproblematic stance adopted towards them in the nursing literature untenable, and calls for a more rigorous and critical appraisal of experiential learning strategies commonly used to promote self-awareness.

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