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Reflection



 

There has been a considerable level of interest in the use of reflective practice in a number of professional disciplines. If not all most of them, however, agree that reflection is an active, conscious process, a systematic and thoughtful means by which practitioners can demonstrate wisdom in their practice.

 

Reflection is often initiated when the individual practitioner encounters some problematic aspects of practice and attempts to make sense of them; it requires a conscious thinking of the past experience and future plan of that accumulated experience. Schon (1987) in his work identifies two types of reflection; these are reflection – in – action (thinking on your feet) and reflection – on – action (retrospective thinking). He suggests that practitioners use reflection when they encounter situations that are unique, and when individuals may not be able to apply known theories or techniques previously learnt through formal education (Ghaye and Lillyman, No Date).

 

Of course, no one comes to study with a blank mind in terms of attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and skills. Metaphorically speaking, reflection is just like a ruminant animal returns partly digested food from the stomach to the mouth for further chewing,  or  it means “to bend back” meaning to stop, think and evaluate in order to reinforce our experience.  Therefore reflection is an instrument of learning in personal and professional development; it enables to shape and extend prior knowledge and skills; and to look beyond our own resources (Eraut, 1994 cited in Moon, 1999).

 

At Horn students are encouraged to produce robust critical reflection papers based on the following four steps:

 

  1. Summarize what they read from the reading material
  2. Explain the new insight acquired from the material and discussion group
  3. Analyze and make judgments based on prior experience and knowledge
  4. Plan how to apply, develop and communicate the new acquired understanding 

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