By Sarah Bonato, Reference/Research Librarian, CAMH Library
December 15th is Cat Herders Day!
Herding cats is a potentially futile endeavor, because unlike natural herd animals, cats purr-fer to do their own thing. In fact, the expression has now become an idiom for group situations that are difficult to control. How do you even begin to organize that which might be inherently uncontrollable? But that doesn’t stop us from trying from time to time.
See below for a selection of research on herding some of our favourite so-called cats—such as nursing students, medical students and health professionals!
Aligning Faculty for Improved Organization Performance: Tools we can use to effectively herd cats, by D. J. Bachrach (2006)
From Academic Physician & Scientist, 4-5.
- An article that discusses how to create order and lead for the future in academic medical centres. The package of tools is especially useful and includes tools on how to foster a culture of effectiveness and tips for soliciting feedback. A good article that provides practical advice on how to manage professionals.
Access at https://www.aamc.org/download/164788/data/bachrach_aligning_faculty_for_improved_organization_performance.pdf
Maximize a Team-based Learning Gallery Walk Experience: Herding cats is easier than you think, by D. W. Rodenbaugh (2015)
From Advances in Physiology Education, 39(4), 411-413.
- This article discuses integrating Team Based Learning (TBL) for small group learning and peer instruction in a large class environments. Using a gallery walk exercise is one method of TBL—during a gallery walk group exercise students explore and discuss multiple texts or images that are placed around the classroom. This article describes a specific methodology for using a gallery walk for teaching medical students and includes an Excel file tool that can be used for planning a gallery walk in the classroom.
Access at https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/advan.00012.2015
Strategies for Engaging Undergraduate Nursing Students in Reading and Using Qualitative Research, by J. A. Spiers, P. Paul, D. Jennings, & K. Weaver (2012)
From The Qualitative Report, 17(24), 1-22.
- A paper on how to incorporate creative teaching strategies into a research course. Several interactive teaching exercises are suggested—including a Herding Cats and the Canadian Rodeo Finals activity. The cat herding activity (located in Table 2) is a playful way to introduce students to grounded theory, exploratory research questions and ethnographic approaches.
Access at https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/51087637.pdf
And there has even been research on why our feline friends don’t take well to herding and why felis catus must have their own way:
It’s Almost Impossible to Herd Cats Thanks to Evolution
From BBC Earth
- Access at http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170103-it-is-almost-impossible-to-herd-cats-thanks-to-evolution
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