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those intellectual and

affective activities in which
individuals engage to
explore their experiences in
order to lead to a new
understanding and

(Boud, D., Keogh, R., Walker, D. (1985).

Reflection: turning experience into
learning. London: Kogan Page. )
Reflection in an academic context:
Reflection likely to have a conscious and stated
Academic reflection is likely to be preceded by a
description of the subject matter of the
Reflection is applied to relatively complicated or
unstructured ideas for which there is not an
obvious solution.
The outcome of reflective work is likely to be
written and to be seen by others and both may
influence its nature.
(Moon, 2001)
Reflective Practice
looking back on an experience and making
sense of it to identify what to do in the
future.(Drew and Bingham, 2001 p221)

do something, think about it what you did,

come to conclusions about what you did and
plan to try again.(Kolb 1984 p1)

The art of writing things down helps you to

clarify your thoughts and emotions, to work out
strategies, and to focus on your development
and progress (Cottrell, 2001 p67)
Reflective Practice in Organisations
can be a learning tool for directing and informing work,
choosing among alternatives in a work setting, or
transforming and reconstructing the social environment
(Williamson 1997)
enables the managing and leading of others through self
growth and the discernment of work incidents.
Is the intellectual exercise through which managers and
leaders focus upon events in order to ascertain how ones
beliefs and assumptions as well as ones background and
experiences impact organizational functioning
(Sergiovanni, 1989)
Why Reflect?
Focus on the ways which you respond to, understand, develop

and apply your learning in new situations

is a way of learning from your direct experiences, rather than from

the second-hand experiences of others

is known as experiential learning real activity with real

enhances your ability to evaluate situations and to action plan for

enhances self awareness and problem solving skills,

enables you to develop creative answers to difficulties

is therefore linked to effective management

Models of reflection
Various different models exist, originating from
different fields and disciplines.

We will cover some of the most popular:

The learning cycle (Kolb)
Reflecting in action and reflecting on action (Schon)
Gibbs Reflective Cycle (Gibb)
Development Framework (Borton)

Kolbs The Learning Cycle

Active Concrete
experimentation experience

relevant Reflection

Adapted from Kolb

Donald Schn
Reshaping what we are going, while we are doing it or
thinking on our feet
May involve experimentation or intervention on the spot
This normally occurs when something surprising or
unexpected happens while we are performing a task
Done after the event
Spending time thinking about what happened, and why
Enables us to develop questions and ideas about what
we are going
Reflective (What
Cycle - 1988 happened?)

Action Plan Feelings

(What would you (What were you
do next time?) feeling?)

Conclusions Evaluation
(What else could (What was
you have done?) good/bad?)

Analysis (What
sense can you
make of it?)

Bortons (1970) Development Framework

1. Identify the experience and describe the

What happened, was I doing, were others
doing ?
2. Analyse and interpret:
So what more do I need to know to understand
this, could I have done differently?
3. Explore alternatives and plan thoughtful
Now what I need to do to make things better,
will I do, will be the consequences of my
Deepening Reflection
Shift from description to reflective account
Shift from no questions to questions to responding to
Recognise emotional influence and handle
increasingly effectively
Stand back from the event
Engage in self questioning, challenge own ideas
Recognise relevance of prior experience
Take into account others views
Reflective writing activity
Tips for reflective writing
Use the first person (I felt)

Include both description (what, when, who) and analysis

(why, how, what if)

Connect relevant academic literature, knowledge and

debate to support with your experiences/feelings

Outline changes in your understanding which result from

your reflection and any actions you will take and why.
Questions to facilitate reflection
1. What happened that most surprised you?

2. How significant was the episode for you?

3. How did you feel during the episode? How long did the
effect of this episode last? Is there any difference with
how you feel now about it?
4. How did the views of other people (colleagues,
employers, friends, family etc) influence your views?
5. How did your feelings influence your actions? What did
you learn from the experience about how you react to
change or new experiences?
Questions to facilitate reflection
6. What do you think went well, what not so well and
what were the implications for your work related
7. What does the experience suggest to you about
your strengths? your weaknesses and
opportunities for development?
8. If you were another person involved in the episode,
would you see the situation differently?
9. Overall what do you think you learnt from the
experience? What might you do different in similar
circumstances in the future as a result of your
Follow-up for next week
On Moodle Discussion Forum:

Think about a recent episode at work or university that you feel that
you learnt something from. Try to think about something which did
not happen as you expected, such as an interaction with someone,
or doing something for the first time. Use Gibbs's reflective cycle:

Briefly describe what happened

Describe your feelings about the experience
Evaluate what went well or not so well
Analyse what you learnt from the episode
Write down some actions that you will take if this happens again
Selecting a critical incident
Something that made you feel different about your work or
Something that went very well
Something that occurs routinely
Something that defines what you think it means to be an
effective practitioner
Something that was especially demanding or difficult
Something that was out of the ordinary or made you think
Something that did not go as you planned