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How to write reflectively Academic Development Tutors

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1 How to write reflectively Academic Development Tutors
School of Health

2 Today’s session What is reflection and why should I use it?
Reviewing different models of reflection Reflective writing Tips for wording

3 What is reflection and why do I need to use it?
Thinking about and analysing your actions in order to improve your professional practice Involves exploring and explaining events, not just describing them Involves analysing your anxieties, errors and weaknesses, as well as your strengths and successes

4 What is reflection and why do I need to use it?
Linking practice to theory Your experience and description of an event show the what. You can reflect on the event and learn from it for the future. Bu you also relate it to theory to understand the why. Provides a broader perspective and looks at experiences from different viewpoints. Shows an awareness of the evidence and knowledge base. Involves a search for meaning in events. Takes your experiences and puts them into the wider context.

5 What is reflection and why do I need to use it?
Helps students and practitioners make explicit links between theory and practice Many different definitions Essentially, refers to learning from experience and using that learning to improve your practice in the future ERA cycle Schon’s (1983) reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action

6 What is reflection and why do I need to use it?
A key component of Kolb’s learning cycle. A way of problem solving for everyday practice Encourages students to think critically.

7 Kolb’s Learning Cycle (1984)
Concrete experimentation Reflective observation Abstract conceptualisation Active experimentation

8 Reflective models

9 Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle (1988)

10 Johns’ Model of Structured Reflection (2000)
Looking in Find a space to focus on self Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions Write down significant thoughts and emotions Looking out Aesthetics: What was I trying to achieve? Why did I respond as I did? Personal: Why did I feel the way I did within this situation? Ethics: Did I act for the best? (ethical mapping) Empirics: What knowledge did or could have informed me? Reflexivity: Does this situation connect with previous experiences? How could I handle this situation better?

11 Rolfe’s Framework for Reflective Practice (2001)
What? So what? Now what?

12 Reflective writing

13 Reflective Writing Different to other forms of academic writing. Switch from 3rd to 1st person for example. Develop style of writing that uses ‘I’ and personal experience. Might feel strange at first. You may not be used to writing about your feelings or actions. Will take practice. Experiment with different models of reflection.

14 Reflective Writing But it is still academic.
It is not a diary entry, blog or to a friend. It is not simply a description of events. Reflection is in the analysis of those events. It is the considered exploration of your own role in the experience. it should not be chatty in style. It should still contain a clear introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. It may even include evidence and references. It should be clearly linked to theory. It should show what you have learned from the process. It should consider other perspectives

15 Reflective Writing It has lots of advantages.
Students often get frustrated that there is nothing of themselves in their assessments. Your reflective work is all about you and your experiences. It concerns the reality of your profession rather than being purely academic or theoretical. Nursing, social work etc are reflective professions. It is a skill you require and will use for the rest of your career. See, Fulbrook, P. (2003) ‘Writing in the first person – time to change’, Nursing in Critical Care, Vol. 8, no. 6, pp

16 In pairs: Please read the extracts and discuss:
- What the strengths of the texts are – do you think they are reflective? - How do they differ from other types of writing? - How effective have the authors been in applying their chosen models of reflection? - What things might they learn from their experience to improve their future practice?

17 Vocabulary aid When I think back to my feelings about…
To convey what the event meant to you: For me the most significant/relevant/useful aspect/idea/experience was…. To pinpoint your thoughts to different times: Previously/at the time/at first/subsequently I thought/felt/noticed/questioned/realised…. When I think back to my feelings about…

18 Vocabulary aid (cont) To demonstrate what you have learned:
Having reflected on/analysed/read….I now feel/think/realise/wonder/question….. Most importantly, I have learned that….. I have significantly developed my skills in…/my knowledge of…/my ability to… However, I have still not sufficiently…. This knowledge/skill could be essential/useful to me as a practitioner because…

19 Vocabulary aid (cont) To introduce your action plan:
Because I did not/am not yet confident about/do not yet understand….I will need to…. As I next step I shall… Having considered how I still need to develop, I have identified the following steps…

20 Other resources Bowden, S Enhancing your professional nursing practice through critical reflection. Abu Dhabi Nurse, Summer, pp Ask us for a copy. Our leaflet on common mistakes in reflective writing. Ask us for a copy. Jasper, M Beginning reflective practice. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Maslin-Prothero, S. (Ed.) Bailliere's study skills for nurses and midwives. London: Bailliere and Tindall Bulman, C. and Schutz, S. (Eds) Reflective practice in nursing. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing  University of Bournemouth Academic Support, Reflective Writing,

21 References Gibbs, G Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods. Oxford: Oxford Further Education Unit Johns, C Becoming a Reflective Practitioner: a Reflective and Holistic Approach to Clinical Nursing, Practice Development and Clinical Supervision. Oxford Blackwell Science. Kolb, D Experiential Learning as the Science of Learning and Development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. and Jasper, M Critical Reflection in Nursing and the Helping Professions: a User’s Guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Schon, D The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in action. London: Temple Smith.

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