Gurbutt, Russell and Gurbutt, Dawne (2020) SNUFKIN’S FLAG: MOOMINLAND IN POST GRADUATE REFLECTIVE LEARNING. In: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, 2-4 March, 2020, Valencia, Spain.

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Creativity in post graduate education with health students can tap into many sources of inspiration. One source demonstrated in this poster is Tove Jansson’s ‘Comet in Moominland’, a children’s book about Finnish Troll creatures in the forests of Scandinavia. It has value for an adult readership too. Story telling has an important place in many cultures and ‘gives permission’ to see the world through a different lens. Application to reflective practice begins with an excerpt from a narrative between two characters in the story about a flag that belongs to a tramp called Snufkin. Through the narrative the flag design is explained and the philosophy of life behind it. Snufkin’s flag thus provides (in this example) post graduate students with a useful tool to apply in personal reflection about vision and purpose in relation to leadership studies.

Snufkin’s flag design represent the context of life –a life journey road represented as a horizontal line between sky and sea marked with and a current point, a future destination and a real world context.. It captures something of the free-spirited character of Snufkin who visits Moominland in the spring but migrates south during the winter: i.e. He is always living with purpose in mind and is never static for a prolonged period.

With the text written during in the post World War 2 period and the Cold War spectre of nuclear warfare, this is possibly a device to help children have purpose and hope in an uncertain context. Likewise in a context of rapid and uncertain change that is a feature of modern UK healthcare, postgraduate students can be guided through a 4 step reflective analysis: Current position (A), desired destination (B), reading of the context and planned steps to move from A to B. Furthermore it facilitates a broader reflective discussion about self in relation to the social context and the values associated with the envisaged destination.

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