Presentation on theme: "Reflection and reflective writing"— Presentation transcript:
1 Reflection and reflective writing This is a collection of slides that I use in the generic Study Development workshop BUT it is not a coherent workshop per se: I select from the slides and structure the workshop according to who is there and why.Please feel free to select any slides you find useful, change them to suit your context and add your own material.Different activities can be added – some of the hand-outs in the adaptable materials on Reflection offer possible activities to use.(A couple of the slides with text in red indicate activities I often use – they can be found on the hand-outs indicated on the slides.)Chris DoyeInstitute for Academic DevelopmentUniversity of EdinburghNovember 2012
2 What is reflection?Exploration / examination of ourselves and our actions (often written but also spoken)consideredrational, unemotional*in relation to theory / wider context / other perspectivesWhy do it?to develop understanding / learning / skillsand give us a path by which to move forward*(even though it often deals with feelings, reactions and emotions)* Although emotions/feelings, attitudes etc may play a significant role in WHAT we are reflecting upon
5 What does that mean? Describing event or process So what?Now what?Describing event or processFuture goals and actionsThinking and analysisDrawing conclusions
6 Contexts and purposes Episode / experience/ process Critical incident Short/specific e.g. lesson we have taught, procedure we have carried outLonger process e.g. project work, group work, course, client-practitioner relationshipCritical incidentPositive or negativeOur own development, e.g. skills, strengths, challenges (may also be required for education or work)
7 What is a critical incident? Something that happened that is, in some way, significantFor you personally,Or in a wider contextand that you can learn from by considering it more deeplyIt does not have to be earth-shatteringIt can be either positive or negative
8 Skills involved Self-awareness Description / factual reporting Critical analysisSynthesisEvaluation(Atkins and Schutz, 2008, p.26)Self-awareness is the main skill that is not usual in other academic writing.
9 Preparing: Focused free write This technique can help you to start thinking freely about something.Start from the incident, experience, process you want to reflect onWrite for minutes without stopping, just following your train of thought as if you are talking to yourself on paperDon’t worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation or anything elseIf you wander off the topic, don’t worry, just bring yourself gently backWhen the time is up, skim through for any interesting/useful words, phrases, ideas or thoughtsThe idea of free writing, from which focused free writing is adapted, was popularised by Peter Elbow (1973)The hand-outs referred to here are ‘reflection getting started’ and ‘dialogue prompt reflection activities’
10 Exploring experience and perspective Look at the hand-outsTry one of the techniques (you will not be asked to share what you have actually produced)Share with the groupWhich activity did you choose?What are your reactions to doing it?
11 Reflective journal At the time Later reflection Write a description as you see things nowInclude your feelingsNote down anything you might want to refer to as ‘evidence’Note questions or things you might want to explore if they occur to youLater reflectionLook back objectively at what you wroteCompare you now with then: changes?Ask & answer critical questionsRelate to wider contextJustify what you sayLearning & moving forwardThis is usually for longer term things, keeping track over time. (Or you may use PebblePad or other online forms)
12 Reflective writing assignments May use specific model and follow that structureUsually follows basic phasesDescriptive (who? what? where? when?)Analytical & interpretive (why? how? so?)Looking forward (where/what now?)cf Borton (earlier)Or, more complex, e.g. Gibbs
13 More structured e.g. Gibbs (1988) DescriptionFeelingsEvaluationAnalysisConclusionAction plan(Cited in Jasper, p.77 but, N.B. she puts description instead of analysis!)
14 DescriptionAbility to give effective account > others understand what happened as you saw it:Pick relevant, significant detail: right amountWriting = clear, concise, well structuredObjective rather than emotional: thoughts & feelings are recorded rather than colouring account
15 Critical analysis/ evaluation Aims for deeper understandingBreaking down into constituent partsIdentifying positives / negatives/ issuesIdentifying and challenging assumptions (self & other)Making connections (other experience, learning)Relating to external sources, e.g.Theory, research, case studies, wider social/political/economic context
16 Levels of reflection: 1Hatton and Smith's (1995) four levels of reflection, summarised by Gillett et al. as:descriptive writing (a straightforward account of events)descriptive reflection (an account with reasons, justifications and explanation for the events)dialogic reflection (the writer begins to stand back from the account and analyse it)critical reflection (the writer puts their account into a broader perspective).(Gillett et al., 2009, p.165)
17 Levels of reflection: 2Goodman’s 3 levels (1984) often referred to – roughly equate to:Largely descriptive; looking at practical things in terms of responsibility, accountability, efficiency ..Moving out from your particular experiences – relationship between theory and practice; broader implications, issues, values..Broadening out to consider implications in context of ethical / social / political influences(Goodman, 1984, cited in Jasper, 2003, pp.72-75)
19 Edinburgh Award Employers want graduates: who are self-aware, who capitalise on their strengths,who will have impact wherever they work,who are committed to personal development and life-long learning, andwho can confidently provide evidence for these claims.And that’s where the Edinburgh Award comes in…
20 Edinburgh Award: CARLFor reflecting on the skills/abilities you wanted to develop during the Award:Context – What is the context, e.g. what was your role and what was the skill you wanted to develop (and why)?Action – In that context, what did you do to work towards developing the skill?Result & Learning – What were the outcomes of your actions? What went well? What stretched you? What didn’t work? What did you learn as a result? Why does it matter to you? How does it influence how you would approach something similar in the future?For reflecting on the impact you had during the Award:Context – What is the context, e.g. what was your role, its purpose and in what areas you were trying to develop personally?Action – In that context, what did you do to try to have an impact?Result & Learning – What were the outcomes of your actions? What impact did you have on the people and/or organisation(s) around you?
21 ReferencesAtkins, S. and Schutz, S. (2008) 'Developing the skills for reflective practice', in Bulman, C. and Schutz, S. (eds.) Reflective practice in nursing. 4th edn. Chichester: Blackwell Publishing, pp Elbow, P. (1973) Writing Without Teachers. New York: Oxford University Press Gillett, A., Hammond, A. and Martala, M. (2009) Successful academic writing. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. Jasper, M. (2003) Beginning reflective practice. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd Moon, J.(2006) Learning Journals: A Handbook for Reflective Practice and Development. (2nd edn.) London: RoutledgeThese cover powerpoint and handouts
22 Websites for further information The University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh Award:Reflective writing, university of Portsmouth: