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How does it feel?

- It feels great. I’m really excited! Obviously, there are many practical things to take care of before I leave, especially regarding housing and settling on a school for the kids. But this feels like a wonderful opportunity!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

- I’m a psychiatric nurse but have spent the last 10 years working as a teacher at University West. I received my doctoral degree in 2017 and am right now finishing up my postdoctoral position at the Department of Health Sciences at the university. Since receiving my degree I’ve worked a lot with norm critical thinking and drama pedagogy. Part of my postdoc was spent developing the norm critical pedagogical model at the Department’s Clinical Learning Center.    

Could you explain what drama pedagogy is?  

- It’s a pedagogical method that combines theoretical knowledge with the student’s own feelings and experiences by allowing the student to explore different scenarios, roles and perspectives. The students work with themselves as tools through interaction with others. They become aware of their own learning and the knowledge they gain becomes embodied. We work a lot with switching perspectives, meaning that the students explore different roles. The training sessions are followed up by periods of reflection where experiences are shared and discussed. The students gain greater self-awareness, a deeper understanding for other perspectives and why humans act or feel a certain way. 

What exactly are you going to do at Ohio State University?

- Exactly what they would like me to contribute hasn’t been decided yet. I’m scheduled to visit them in the Spring which will allow us to discuss the details. What I do know is that I’ll be placed at the School of Nursing. This being a Teaching Sabbatical, the focus is placed on my role as a teacher. 

What impact do you hope to have on OSU?

- Obviously, I hope I can deepen their understanding of norm criticism and drama pedagogy. Norm criticism is a very Swedish term so it’s a bit difficult to predict how American teachers and students will react. It will also be interesting to see if or how they apply elements of work-integrated learning (WIL) to the nursing program at OSU. WIL is a part of everything we do at University West.

Could you say that you’re bring norm criticism to the USA?

- Ha ha, maybe. At least when it comes to the field of nursing.  

Do you think this experience will change you in any way?

- Yes! I think it will add new insights and perspectives to how I look at teaching and learning, especially when it comes to educating nurses. I will be exposed to a slightly different pedagogical approach which I think will be useful for me as a teacher.    

OSU is much bigger than University West. How does that feel?

- Really cool! The university itself is almost as big as the entire city of Trollhättan and that’s a bit hard to grasp, to be honest. From what I’ve seen Columbus looks manageable in size, which is nice.

What will you miss about Sweden?

- My kids, obviously! Some of the kids will stay in Sweden, but they’ll come and visit us several times. I will also miss all my colleagues at University West. It’s a non-hierarchical and curious university with an open mind toward development and innovation.  

What do you consider to be typically American?

- If you ask my kids, they’ll say macaroni and cheese. I’ve heard a lot about Americans being friendly and sociable, and that it’s easier to meet new people in the US. I’m curious to see whether that’s something I notice.   

Ohio State University is a top-ranked team in American College football. Will you go to a game?

- Of course!  

 

Facts
The STINT Teaching Sabbatical

  • The goal of the Teaching Sabbatical is to develop individuals as well as academic institutions. By granting researchers and teachers international experience based on their role as teachers, STINT wants to contribute to the development of higher education and the creation of new networks.
  • STINT cooperates with selected academic institutions in Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.
  • STINT’s partners in this program represent a diversity of esteemed academic institutions.
  • The individual participants spend an entire Fall semester at the partner university (August-December).  
Updated by Stefan Kudryk