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Making time for dialogue

In contemporary academic cultures, time for dialogue has become almost extinct. Productivity has succumbed to the tendency to seek measurable outcomes of concrete products, which in turn neglects the vital conceptual, theoretic and philosophic underpinnings that make reliable and valid concrete outcomes possible.  When dialogue is neglected, scholars are deprived of the important processes of challenge and critique, processes that serve to refine and develop ideas in the context of community values.  The authors of the current Editor’s Pick article share their process of scholarly dialogue that  extends the debate on the topic of militarization of nursing. The article, titled “Making Time for Reflexive Dialogue in Philosophical Group Discussion: Extending the Debate on the Militarization of Nursing” is authored by  Rusla Anne Springer, PhD; Arlene Kent-Wilkinson, PhD; Carol Ewashen, PhD; and Ruth Ali, MN. In the article they call for more dialogue among nurse scholars as an avenue to examine nuances in language and discourse that sustain inequity, injustice, and cultural practices that

Rusla Anne Springer

Rusla Anne Springer

diminish human health and well-being.  The authors provide this background about their process:

The formation of the Inter-University Philosophical Discussion Group, from which this collaborative paper arose, stemmed from a shared desire on the part of Springer and Ewashen to re-ignite past associations and shared nursing philosophies and interests. The origins of the present collaboration date back to 2003, when Springer was a graduate student at the University of Calgary.  At that time Dr. Ewashen, along with other members of the nursing faculty, initiated a philosophical discussion group that offered graduate students the opportunity to engage with faculty in the safety of informal monthly gatherings

Arlene Kent-Wilkinson

Arlene Kent-Wilkinson

to explore and solidify the philosophical underpinnings of their graduate thesis and dissertation research. Those informal engagements with faculty proved invaluable for Springer and remain a highlight of her graduate experience. Based on a keen desire to re-ignite past associations, and recognizing the value of philosophical discussion, reflection and debate for graduate students and for faculty, in the fall of 2012 this new cross-university collaboration was born!  Of note is that all four authors are alumni (Springer & Kent-Wilkinson), faculty (Ewashen), or a present doctoral student (Ali) of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary.  For Ali, the opportunity to contribute to this collaborative article was “a great experience”, one in which she has “learned so

Carol Ewashen

Carol Ewashen

much”!  Enriching the graduate student experience by providing the opportunity to engage with faculty to confront, inquire, disrupt, challenge, debate and share perspectives in the safety of an open, inviting, respectful, and truly collegial space is the purpose of this newly formed cross-university collaboration.

This article is available for free download while it is featured on the ANS web site!  Perhaps the experience of these authors will inspire you to also make the time for dialogue of a kind that inspires, challenges and informs!

Ruth Ali

Ruth Ali

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