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Critical Thinking and Reflective Learning

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1 Critical Thinking and Reflective Learning
Critical thinking and reflective writing are essential element of personal, professional and academic development What are they? Why important? Models? Discuss application to academic writing What is your experience of these? NB Evidence based practice Glenys Hook

2 Reflection “…reflection in the context of learning is a generic term for those intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understandings and appreciations” Boud 1985

3 What is Reflective Practice?
Taking the opportunity to think about the work you are doing, as you do it, or after you have done it. ‘… 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)

4 ‘ 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) This can be done in a ‘weblog’, or blog – you will need to: reflect on personal, academic and professional development For assessment, keep four entries Start of module – expectations, skills Report assessment experiences Presentation assessment experiences End of module – the full experience!

5 Why should you be reflective practitioners?
To enable professional development The ‘knowledge’ economy Continuous professional development To maintain quality Reflecting on what went wrong and why = improvement Reflecting on what went well and why = good practice Practitioners have considerable power derived from legislation Practitioners make difficult professional judgments

6 Reflection Reflection then includes hard systematic thinking and a soft initiative insight, leading to a plan of action based on critical evaluation of all the available evidence. Don’t just think about what went wrong/well and why – also plan to improve skills if necessary, or to use those skills in future events

7 Assessment A 'reflective practitioner' is someone who does something and is automatically reflective Reviews what happened and asks 'why?', 'how?’, ‘where?’,’ what?‘ What skills can you take forward/ need to improve/develop? How will I do this? The best practitioners are constantly learning, evaluating and refining their practice, even after years of experience. The next stage is to apply what you have learned from one situation to the next 'why?', 'how?’, ‘where?’,’ what?' What did you do? Why? / How? What went well? Why? What skills can you take forward from this into further study? What went wrong? Why? What skills do you need to improve / develop? How are you going to do this, and by when?

8 What can reflective practice do for me?
Enhance your self awareness Develop creative answers to difficulties Enhance your problem solving skills Enhance your ability to evaluate Enhance your ability to action plan for success Make you an effective manager Challenge political and philosophical aspects of procedures and policies attempt to shape future policy and practice Value engaging children in reflecting helping them to develop an insight into their world takes the rights of young children seriously Developing the skills of a reflective practitioner Developing critical thinking skills Learning from observing other people’s practice Learning through doing Managing diversity and uncertainty

9 Kolb’s Learning Cycle (1984)
Taking stock What do I know? Individual Planning How can I take my learning further? Developmental Reflection What do I need to know? Contextual Current skills, knowledge, attributes ->effect progression Feedback/ evaluation How much and how well do I understand? Relational

10 Reflection on Practice (Ghayle 1998)
Navel Gazing Learning from the day’s chaos Talking about what you do with others Learning from experience Reasoning Remembering when Being honest with yourself Becoming more aware Constructive criticism Improving what you have done Doing it after a lesson Understand your feelings Re-assembling what you do Questioning yourself Letting go of personal prejudice Something done by reflective practitioners Gaining confidence in your work Hard work The latest bandwagon What you do academically Dwelling on mistakes Justifying what you do Personal growth Helping you to see what you would or would not do again and why Good evidence is important Carefully selected Represent the standard Demonstrate competencies of standard Present professional Personally meaningful Paired and relevant Insightful and relevant

11 Critical Thinking “An investigation whose purpose is to explore a situation, phenomenon, question, or problem to arrive at a hypothesis or conclusion about it that integrates all available information and that can be therefore be convincingly justified” Kurfiss 1988 Characteristics of critical thinkers: Active thinkers, knowledgeable of their bases and limitations, fair minded, willing to exert a conscious effort in a themed manner, good communicators, empathic, open minded, honest, independent thinkers, curious and insightful, humble, proactive, organised, systematic, flexible, team players, realistic, creative and committed to excellence Paul 1993 CT can be seen to have three interrelated phases (Brookfield 1990) Identifying assumptions Scrutinising accuracy and validity Reconstituting to make more inclusive and integrative Continual asking/ questioning of assumptions and facts -> effective as a SCPHN in rapidly changing environment Synthesis new knowledge -> PH practice Build on existing practices CT is a cognitive activity. Learning to think in critically analytical and evaluative ways means using mental processes such as attention, categorisation, selection, judgement

12 CT as a process (Cottrell 2005)
Identify other people’s positions/ arguments/ conclusions Evaluate the evidence for alternative points of view Weigh up opposing arguments/ evidence fairly Read between the lines Identify false/ inaccurate assumptions Recognise techniques to make certain positions appealing Reflect on issues in a structured way, bringing logic to bear Draw conclusions- valid/ justified Present a point of view Identify other people’s positions/ arguments/ conclusions Evaluate the evidence for alternative points of view Weigh up opposing arguments/ evidence fairly Read between the lines, seeing behind the surfaces Identify false/ inaccurate assumptions Recognise techniques to make certain positions appealing than others, eg false logic and persuasive devices Reflect on issues in a structured way, bringing logic to bear Draw conclusions- valid/ justified, based on good evidence and sensible arguments Present a point of view in a structured, clear, well reasoned way that convinces others Ennis (1987) Ability to reflect sceptically Ability to think in a reasoned way

13 Benefits Stimulates enquiry, increases self awareness.
Improved attention and observation Integration of theory and practice New and expanded knowledge Safe and effective practitioners Protection of the public Context of practice Changing needs Ownership and responsibility Ability to identify key points in a text/ message Stimulates enquiry, increases self awareness. Develops analytical skills Encourages learning Assists practice teachers in analysing the quality of the student’s competencies Implications for future practice. Focused reading Ability to respond to appropriate points in a message Active experience- always developing Observations and reflections are interpreted and translated through cognitive processes to become new and expanded knowledge, thus leading to safe and effective practice in ensuring that the protection of the public is assured Learning through reflection is always in the context of practice and in recognising that reflective processes lead to a fuller understanding of the work environment and barriers that limit potential Development of a sense of ownership and responsibility -> responsive and resourceful Role models of PTs/ PEs- observe, across professionals, settings, different groups -> critically review own practice Benchmarks Learning through doing

14 Barriers to Critical Thinking (Cottrell 2005)
Misunderstanding of what is meant by criticism Over estimating personal reasoning abilities Lack of methods, strategies, practice Reluctance to critique experts Affective reasons Mistaking information for understanding Insufficient focus and attention to detail Misunderstanding of what is meant by criticism- criticism does not equate to negative comments. Critical evaluation = identify positives as well as negative aspects- what works as well as what does not. ‘unpleasant’ person... NB Feedback that can lead to improvement Over estimating personal reasoning abilities. Thinking is often automatic. Humans are not always rational beings. Winning an argument does not always mean we have presented the best case – perhaps a poor case not recognised. Imprecise, inaccurate, illogical thinking does not help to develop the mental abilities required for higher level academic and professional work Lack of methods, strategies, practice. With practice, most people can develop their skills Reluctance to critique experts. Natural anxiety. It is difficult to be asked to offer criticism of practitioners/ authors who they know to be more expert than themselves Affective reasons. More than one way of looking at anything. In academic contexts, the implications of a theory can challenge deeply held beliefs and long held assumptions. Difficult to accept irrespective of intelligence Mistaking information for understanding. Learning is a process that develops understanding and insight. Students can misunderstand teaching methods, preferring facts/ answers rather than skills Insufficient focus and attention to detail. Precision and accuracy which requires good attention to detail. Focus on task in hand Which of the above affect your CT abilities? How do you manage these and will in this year?

15 Models Critical Analysis (Edwards 1998) Re-evaluation (Boud 1985)
Reflection in and On Action (Schőn 1987) Gibbs 1998 Driscoll 1994 Johns 1995 Many Critical analysis- Edwards 1998: agreeing, presenting new point of view, conceding, reformulating, dismissing, rejecting, reconciling, retracting, choosing, originality Re-evaluation Boud 1985: association (relating new data), Integration (seeking relationship), Validation (determining authenticity), Appropriation (making knowledge one’s own) ,

16 Reflecting in and on Action (Schőn 1987)
In Action: practising, influences decisions and care at that moment, Promotes skilled and flexible responses of the expert practitioner On Action: After the event, views different interventions, adds knowledge Promotes development of professional skills and knowledge

17 Gibbs reflective cycle ( 1998)
Description – what happened? Feelings- what were you thinking and feeling? Evaluation- what was good and bad about the experience? Analysis: what sense can you make of the situation? Conclusion- what else could you have done? Action plan- if it arose again what would you do?

18 Driscoll’s model of reflection ( 1994)
WHAT? Returning to the situation SO WHAT? Understanding the context NOW WHAT? Modifying future outcomes

19 Barriers Matter of choice Adoption of a reflective approach
Organisational structure which inhibits rather than encourages reflection Resistance to change Lack of time Past negative experiences/ presumptions Lack of self awareness/ intervening skills Other’s expectations Negative factors which impede learning


21 References and Bibliography
Boud D, Keogh R& Walker I edit (1985) Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. London Kogan Page Cottrell S. (2005) Critical Thinking Skills. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan Edwards SL (1998) Critical thinking and analysis: a model for writing assignments. BJN 7(3) Gibbs G (1988) Learning by doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods. London FEU Driscoll JJ (1994) Reflective Practice for Practise- a framework of structured reflection for clinical areas. Senior Nurse 14 (1) 47-50 Ghaye A & Ghaye K (1998) Teaching and Learning through Critical Reflective Practice. London Fulton Publishers Johns C (1995) The value of reflective practice for Nursing. JCN 4,

22 References and Bibliography
Johns C (2000) Becoming a reflective Practitioner. Oxford Blackwell Science Kolb DA (1984) Experiential Learning: experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey Prentice Hall. Moon J (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: theory and practice. London Routledge Falmer Osterman K& Kottkamp R () Reflective Practice for Educators. 2nd edit. California Corwin Press Palmer AM, Burns S& Bulman C (1994) Rrflective Practice in Nursing: the growth of the professional practitioner. Oxford Blackwell Science Scaife J (2010) Supervising the reflective Practitioner: an essential guide to theory and practice. London Routledge Schőn DA (1987) Educating the Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco Jossey Bass. Thompson S& Thompson N (2008) The Critically Reflective Practitioner. Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan

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