Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What is reflective practice?

I am going to be facilitating an online discussion about reflective practice as part of the postgraduate course I am running for registered midwives. We'll be looking at what reflective practice is, and briefly discussing some of the theoretical perspectives.

You are very welcome to join us at 7.30pm Monday 13th October New Zealand - International Time.

Meeting link:

Please click here if you need information about how to use Elluminate which is the web conferencing program we will be using.

Image: 'Hope springs eternal' Pandiyan


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Sarah!

Wikipedia defines Reflective Practice as "a continuous process and involves the learner considering critical incidents in his or her life's experiences."

It is akin to Action Research, defined in Wkipedia as "a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a "community of practice" to improve the way they address issues and solve problems."

Though there are differences between the two processes, many reflective practice techniques apply the principles of action research.

My feelings about the term Action Research is that it is misleading, though probably not necessarily a misnomer. People who have carried out action research tend to get the wrong end of the stick unless they have done some proper quantitative or qualitative research beforehand.

One of the features of Action Research in education, despite the implied inclusion of communities of practice in its defined intent, is that findings are rarely transferable. What has been researched, and found by one teacher as being useful, may not necessarily be useful to another in the same situation.

Both Action research and reflective Practice incur reflection as one of the cyclical components. In Action Research, there are several defined loops or cycles that have been practiced, all of which involve reflection at strategic stages in the cycles.

Good luck with facilitating your discussion group.

Ka kite

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Middle Earth

I have to say that your comment was most fortuitous - you must have been reading my mind!

I don't know a huge amount about action research and have been looking to see what differentiates it from reflection research - your summary has made it quite clear.

I want to end a segment I am currently developing about continuous quality cycles and life-long learning with a comment about action research. Thanks for getting me started with some food for thought.

Sarah Stewart said...

I meant "what differentiates it from reflective practice"