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Critical Reflection

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Critical Reflection

  1. 1. Critical ReflectionDr Linda RushVice Dean (Teacher Education)
  2. 2. Learning Outcomes To critically explore the concept of reflection and its application within learning and teaching To appraise reflective frameworks which facilitate critical levels of reflection
  3. 3. Feelings about reflection What are your feelings about reflection ?
  4. 4. Concept AnalysisIn pairs Mindmap the term “reflection” From the mindmap create categories or emerging themes From the categories construct a sentence which offers your definition of reflection
  5. 5. Definitions of Reflection The consensus is that reflection is a term frequently used, but inadequately defined (Atkins and Murphy 1993, Reid 1993, James and Clarke 1994, Lyons 1999) Difficulties are caused by a lack of clarity and commonly understood terminology (Reid 1993, Teekman 2000, Carroll et al 2000) How easy did you find it?
  6. 6. Working definition….? “A process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice” (Reid 1995:305) It is both “a loosely used concept, easily assimilated into spontaneous everyday action” (How many of you feel you do it already?) and “a complex, difficult to explain and perplexing phenomenon” (Fitzgerald & Chapman in Burns & Bulman 2000:3)
  7. 7. Where did it come from? Dewey (1933) – viewed reflective thinking and reflection as an experiential learning technique. Defined reflection as : An active persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge, in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends Reflection or reflective thinking here is seen as problem solving
  8. 8. Hatton and Smith (1995) View reflective thinking as ‘an active and deliberative cognitive process, involving sequences of interconnected ideas which take account of underlying beliefs and knowledge. Reflective thinking generally addresses practical problems, allowing for doubt and perplexity before possible solutions are reached.’
  9. 9. Backbone philosophies’ ofreflection: Kolb & Schon
  10. 10. Aredefinitionsimportant?
  11. 11. The issues? Reflection is not a “panacea” (Scanlon and Chermonas 1997, Burns and Bulman 2000) but it is a way of learning more about our work (Kember at al 2001) Research tends to be small scale Schon’s work is attractive because it “focuses on practice and values experience” (Burns and Bulman 2000:1) Moral and ethical dimensions (Hargreaves 1997)
  12. 12. What can a reflectivestrategy do? Alter the focus from routinely doing to the development of an ability to look critically at practice (Driscoll 1994) Raising consciousness Perspective transformation Framing and reframing (Glaze 2001) as an innovative way of analysing problems Deconstruction and reconstruction (Ghaye and Lilleyman 1997) Knowing where you are on your internal map (Hunt 2001)
  13. 13. So, why can it be complex? Some people are more naturally reflective than others, but reflection is a skill which can be learnt, practised and refined … (L’Aiguille 1994) Verbal reflection is spontaneous, written reflection requires some practice (Gannon et al 2001) Frameworks help to structure reflections, challenge assumptions, transform perspectives
  14. 14. Critical reflection andcritical thinkingBrookfield (1987) key components of critical thinking:- Identifying and challenging assumptions Imagining and exploring alternative ways of thinking and actingAtkins (2000 in Burns and Bulman p30) Take place during the critical analysis element of a reflective framework
  15. 15. Reflective Frameworks Aid learning from experience Help to move from “tacit knowing, to more conscious and explicit knowing” (Ghaye and Lilleyman 1997:16) Movement away from “inertia” Adds “new and relevant” meaning to professional practice Have significance for future action
  16. 16. Types of Frameworks Structured -Johns guided reflection (1995) Smyth (1991) Hierarchical - Mezirow’s seven levels of reflection (1981), Goodman’s three levels (1984) Iterative - cyclical, Gibbs (1988), Atkins and Murphy (1994), Boud et al 1985) Synthetic - Louden (1991), Interests and Forms (outcomes and characteristics) Holistic - Ghaye et al (1996) 5 types of reflection- on-practice and 5 reflective cycles in a matrix
  17. 17. Using a reflective frameworkin reflective writing Description - demonstrates clear understanding of the relevant and important issues, well structured and concise Feelings - beneath the surface. Demands “emotional intelligence” The ability to recognise and manage emotions in yourself and others (Mortiboys 2002)
  18. 18. Critical Analysis Critical Analysis -Identify and illuminate existing knowledge of relevance, challenge assumptions, explore alternatives. Separate the whole into its component parts
  19. 19. Synthesis “The integration of the new knowledge, feelings or attitudes with previous knowledge, feelings or attitudes. This is necessary in order to develop a fresh insight or a new perspective on a situation and learn from it” (Atkins 2002:46) Martin (1999) suggests contemporary staff need to manage paradox and be constantly adaptive Evaluation: the ability to make a judgement about the value of something, looking back… but it is also future orientated
  20. 20. Reflection and teaching Scanlon and Chermonas (1997) suggest that to teach reflectively, we must be reflective ourselves Strategies? ALS (McGill and Beaty 1995) Reflective journals (Bolton 2001) Portfolio development Reflective conversations with peers (Richert 1990)
  21. 21. Problems with Reflection? “lack of motivation to complete what can be a time consuming task” “uncertainty in what was expected” “making practice visible to others carries a degree of risk of criticism and challenge that may not have been experienced before” (Stanley and Ramage 2004:95)
  22. 22. Reflection and teaching Scanlon and Chermonas (1997) suggest that to teach reflectively, we must be reflective ourselves Strategies? ALS (McGill and Beaty 1995) Reflective journals (Bolton 2001) Portfolio development Reflective conversations with peers (Richert 1990)
  23. 23. Now What? - Review The purpose of reflection is to learn and extend personal practice and knowledge base (Hull and Redfern 1996) What is your stance? Which reflective framework suits your learning style? Engage with opportunities for observations (think mirrors) Engage with the theory, be prepared to take on new perspectives and insights.
  24. 24. A thought for the future… A fully functioning person is an ever changing person….personal growth is marked by a degree of disorganisation followed by reorganisation which necessitates acceptance of self (based on Rogers, and Martin 1999)

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