Play in professional learning can be a disputed topic, with paradoxical frameworks such as ‘serious play’ being used to legitimise playful practice in these settings. Despite this, play be a valuable tool in learning, particularly in encouraging adults to deal with uncomfortable situations such as personal failures. In partnership with students, we developed a playful roleplay scenario for first year veterinary students in a UK veterinary school. 102 students engaged in the roleplay scenario and 82% (84) engaged with a student-led evaluation with a pre and post session survey. A focus group with staff was also run to explore the value of running a playful session in an accreditation driven curriculum such as the veterinary programme. 91.7% of participants rated the scenario as enjoyable and 84.5% felt it should be used within the veterinary curriculum, but reflections from staff revealed complex interactions between students’ individual differences and the value of the session. Ultimately, the playful session was considered valuable for these learners, however there is a range of considerations for adopting play in professional practices.
roleplay, playful learning, educational evaluation, professional practice, pedagogical design
How to Cite
MacKay, J. R. & Paterson, J. & Stein, K. & Chinnery, S. & Smith, S., (2021) “Play in professional education: vets who horse around.”, The Journal of Play in Adulthood 2(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/jpa.704