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Reflective Practice

An overview of some of key concepts and themes.
by

Ian Harris

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of Reflective Practice

Reflective Practice
What is it then? Come on Don, you should know, didn't you write a book on it in the early eighties?
Chris Argyris
Donald Schon
I certainly did, Chris, but only after working with you in the mid to late seventies
Reflection is the metacognitive process of exploring our experiences in order to deepen and extend our knowledge and
Metacognition is thinking about thinking
Schon's ideas have been highly influential. He distinguished between
So, you could say
reflection
is thinking about the thinking that got us doing what we did
understanding of our practice.
Reflection
Action
In
Reflection
Action
On
This is illustrated by the example of the skilled crafts person.
As they apply their skills to the task in hand they
monitor
their practice in order to
detect
any errors that they may be making and so
correct
for these in order to improve the outcome.
Schon describes this approach as
Schon says reflection in action is in the present tense and takes place
"on the hoof"
Retrospective or backward looking
So, we can plan to avoid them or at least have the tools and strategies for dealing with them ready at hand in future.
When we reflect on our practice we can identify the things that caused problems
Think about it like this - a carpenter is sawing planks of wood. He monitors his accuracy as he works. As the plank starts to slide with the saw he changes position and holds it still with his knee. This is what we mean by reflection in action
Later on, someone points out that our carpenter has worn a hole in the knee of his jeans. He realises what the cause is and decides to make sure he's got a saw bench and clamps next time he needs to cut planks - this is what we mean by reflecting on action.
According to Schon and Argyris effective learning and development transforms the tacit knowledge and understanding implied by
reflection in action
into something explicit through
reflection on action
.
Plan
what you are
g
oing to do to achieve the your intentions
Do the things you planned
Monitor your activities
Identify problems
Revise your plans
Single Loop Learning
Plan
what you are intending to do to achieve the your intentions
Do the things you planned
Monitor your activities
Identify problems
Revise your plans
Single Loop Learning
Plan
what you are intending to do to achieve the your intentions
Do the things you planned
Monitor your activities
Identify problems
Revise your plans
Single Loop Learning
Schon uses the image of learning in loops to illustrate these processes of reflection
You know, now that I come to think of it . . .
. . . may be it's not such a good idea to keep building these houses out of single skin wooden walls . . .
. . . especially in such exposed locations.
D
o
u
b
l
e
o
o
L
p
This notion of loops or cycles is found in many other models of reflective practice.
Greenaway
Kolb
Atkins and Murphy
Full transcript