Academic Skills Advice



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Academic Skills Advice











Becoming a Reflective practitioner


This workshop will:


  • Introduce the key ideas within reflective practice







  • Examine some of the key models used for reflection and discuss strengths and weaknesses of them.

Teaching points:

  1. What reflection is

  2. Components and stages of the reflection process

  3. Reflective skills

  4. Models of reflection


  1. What reflection is


George Santayana 1863-1952 Poet & Philosopher

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Reflective practice, as a concept for learning, was introduced into many professions in the 1980’s. It is seen as one of the ways that professionals learn from experience in order to understand and develop their practice. Basically reflective practice means that we learn by thinking about things that have happened to us and looking at them in a different way, which enables us to take some kind of action.

What is it?

Why is it important?

- The ability to use past experience to inform future action.

- The active allocation of time to this review of past experience.

- During this time, the analysis of that past experience to identify its features, components, causes and effects.

- The identification of where help, improvement, knowledge or support can be gleaned from.

- The commitment to an idea that nothing is perfect – everything can be built upon.


  • You don’t rely on others to learn, grow and improve.

  • You take forward positives and develop strategies to deal with negatives.

  • It adds to your critical thinking toolkit.

  • It improves the experience of those you serve, help or work with through your self-development.

  • Graduate-level professions rarely want unthinking people who cannot learn from mistakes or enhance the field they work in.

Reflection is NOT



  • Conveyance of information, instruction or argument in a report, essay or ‘recipe’.

  • Straightforward description, though description is an element

  • A straightforward decision, e.g. about whether something is right/wrong, or good/bad, etc

  • Simple problem solving like recalling how to get to the nearest train station

Let’s see how we get on with an experiment around reflection concerning two different events in the last week.

We will consider a routine experience: ‘catching the train to Bradford from Halifax’ something I do every work day; and a non-routine experience from the last week: ‘worked from home.



Next we will ask the following questions of both experiences:




Catching the train to Bradford

Worked from home

What did I do? Breakdown the task/event process

Was dropped off at the railway station: had pass ready to show guards: walked to far end of platform; waited on platform; alighted on train

Switched on work laptop; accessed files remotely; worked on documents

Why did I do it the way I did?

This is the quickest and easiest way to board the train: last carriage has less people waiting so get on quicker to secure a seat.

To access the files

What other ways could I have done it? Could I have done something: e.g.

Waited further down platform; used different mode of transport

Copied files to a pen drive at work

How did I know to do it the way I did? e.g.

  • experience

  • outside information

Done it many times before

Colleague had told and shown me how to do it

What had I learned from experience that means that I did it the way I did?

Guards need to see my pass before getting on platform; used to have to search longer for a seat facing the right way

Hadn’t done it before (and made mistakes!)



Activity 1: Your turn


You choose a recent routine and non-routine experience and fill in the grid below. Discuss with your neighbours how difficult you found how each question related to each experience.





Routine


Non-routine

What did I do? Breakdown the task/event process







Why did I do it the way I did?







What other ways could I have done it? Could I have done something: e.g.

  • earlier/later

  • in a different order







How did I know to do it the way I did? e.g.

  • experience

  • outside information







What had I learned from experience that means that I did it the way I did?








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