Teddy Bear Hospital - students' learning in the field of practice with children
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The Teddy Bear Hospital is a collaborative project between council run nursery schools and a post-graduate nursing college in regional Norway. The background to this project is that students have limited possibilities to gain experience with children in hospitals during the practical training aspect of their education, a situation this project hopes to redress. In this project the students meet with healthy preschool children in nursery school on the one day and then meet them again on the foUowing day, this time within the college's training department. The children bring their teddy bears with them who are then 'admitted'to the 'Teddy Bear Hospital ', where they receive treatment and a dressing based on the symptoms the children describe. The project is a quality case study and the result were analyzed using Giorgie 's phenomenological method. The discussion is based on a sociocultural approach to learning by Vygotskij, and Dewey 's principle that all learning comes through experience. Analyses and triangulation of the students ' written reflection notes, interviews with the nursery school staff, observations and drawings by the children, demonstrate that the students gain experience in communicating with children. The students become intrigued by how the children play. They are also able to experience meeting children in their role as hospital personnel, dressed as they are in white hospital uniform. The notes show that they reflect upon the children's maturity based upon the theory they learned in college before practice.