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Reflecting on the Reflective Practitioner: muddled thinking and poor educational practices.

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Presentation on theme: "Reflecting on the Reflective Practitioner: muddled thinking and poor educational practices."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reflecting on the Reflective Practitioner: muddled thinking and poor educational practices

2 I must confess to having anxiety dreams such as finding myself in front of the class in my nightie, or attempting to show the class a video on social policy which turns out to be Kylie Minogue in concert

3 Overview Original concept of Reflective Practitioner and lack of conceptual clarity Reflective theory Poor educational practices Alternative approaches teacher education

4 Reflective ? Practice ? Thinking about what you do, feel for, intuitive knowing Surfacing tacit understanding and frame experiments

5 Key ideas of RP Experience of uncertainty, instability, uniqueness and value conflict Reflection-in and on-action Theories-in-use Problem Solving Cycles

6 Critique of RP Conceptual and practical confusion (Kinsella, 2007) Polanyi and Ryle Overly individualistic and lack of emancipatory dimension (Beverley and Worsley, 2007) Technology of surveillance (Erlandson, 2005)

7 Epistemology of Reflection Re-flection in Latin to bend back on itself Pre-reflective (antedates consciousness) Reflexive (problematising and emancipatory) Heidegger all modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant and Hegel have been notional variations of the philosophy of reflection

8 Reflective Theory Empiricism German idealism Pragmatism

9 Descartes pure reflexive subject is a contemplative subject Lockes self-referential subject – reflection comes to the fore –second order Knowing, rational, self-conscious subject – tabula rasa of the mind

10 Post-Kantians Schelling absolute identity is irreducible to the happening of reflection The ability of the I to reflect on the I.. Thinking that has no other object than itself

11 Fichte For me to be aware of myself I must distance myself, make myself an object of my reflection; but in the sense that the same I is both doing the reflecting and is that which is reflected on presupposes a more direct acquaintance with the I that cannot itself be a matter of reflection

12 Clearly what is able to know itself must be more than what it knows…prior site of disclosure Fichte: absolute self of I and not-I negated self, pre-reflective site that cannot be given to us but must be brought forth

13 German Romantics; immediate and infinite aspects of reflection, an endless regress that is prone to disintegration Hegels universal self and Husserls phenomenological reduction

14 Pragmatism Deweys reflective thinking dissolves the question - instrumentalism Reflection becomes part of problem solving Behaviourist theory of thinking and knowing Darwinian control of the environment deterministic move

15 Reflective theory Reflection is not a privileged form of knowledge that is self legitimising Prior site of disclosure; pre-reflective, inter- subjective, embodied, intuitive Nietzsche distance from milieu and Heidegger rootless ness from the world

16 Educational Practices (ITE and CPD) Narrating of experience Objectification of otherness Instrumental Determinism

17 Narrating of experience Experience: Erlebnis and Erfahrung Lived experience: immediate, pre- reflective and un-theorised practice Elongated notion of experience based upon a journey or adventure

18 Withered and diminished notion of experience; post facto re-counting and thinking about what we already know Conflate experience with a knowledge of experience cant understand experience by examining experience

19 Initial Teacher Education (Narrating experience) distance from the world substitute for experimentation submerging a pre-reflective awareness

20 Objectification of Otherness Freedom from being determined as an object (Hegel) subject/object split for-us or a thing in itself judging agent and set of causal relationships

21 Objectification of Otherness sideways-on view taken to be absolute Other as a subject- mutual interdependency Importance of the experienced teacher present of things past

22 Instrumental Determinism Spontaneous and the mundane No empty spaces and things in themselves Retreat from political and social conditions

23 Instrumental determinism (ITE and CPD) acquaintance with the indeterminate immediate That some things can only be hinted at and must be brought forth That being may just be as important as thought

24 Conclusions Schon's RP is a muddled concept Based upon a naïve form of Pragmatism Reflective thought is insufficient; inter- subjectivity, intuition, embodied practice and historical determinism

25 Poor educational practices Form of Pietism: personal and group reflection on the mundane rather than the esoteric Nothing changes but our interpretations and prejudices, inordinate subjectivism

26 Poor educational practices Effusive autobiographies Fictional reflections Post hoc application of theories Trajectories of self-improvement

27 What are we doing if not reflecting on practice? Anticipating and engaging in practice Initially being over-reliant on others Sharing experience- return to practice Creating spaces- refrain from practice

28 Reflecting on the Reflective Practitioner publication of its time and context disillusionment with an intrusive state disenchantment with technical rationality re- claiming neo-liberalism intellectual stature of pragmatism

29 Overly subjective, horribly instrumental, discourse of performativity - a far cry from the exuberance of German Idealism and largely unrecognisable to Dewey and his vibrant world of experiential learning

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