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Can reflective writing inform teaching and learning? An example of health and wellbeing teaching

Two early-career researchers, Katerina Kassavou and Charoula Tzanakou, have been awarded an Academic Fellowship to investigate the extent to which reflective writing could enable teaching and learning about health and wellbeing. Building on health psychology and sociology, they developed the interdisciplinary module 'Behaviour, Health and Happiness', which was offered in the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Warwick.

Reflection has been among the highly recommended tools for raising awareness and developing actions towards health and wellbeing. We thus sought to explore whether reflective writing would enhance understanding about health and wellbeing in non-medical contexts with a heterogeneous group of students. In addition, we investigated which conditions and factors affected the usefulness of reflective writing in this specific context.
Students in this module were prompted to think critically about research findings in health and psychology literature to review their lifestyle and enhance their wellbeing.

Katerina Kassavou is currently a Research Associate at the Behavioural Science Group, at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests are relevant to the development and evaluation of health interventions to promote behaviour change.

Charoula Tzanakou is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Research, at the University of Warwick. She has investigated the labour markets for highly-qualified individuals and careers in academia. She has been interested in work-life balance and wellbeing at work.