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Reflective Practice

Reflective practice occurs when you explore an experience you have had to identify what happened, and what your role in the experience was

Reflection

Cycles

Gibbs 1988

This is one example of different models of reflection. For other examples of models for reflective practice see: Models of reflection

What is reflective practice?

Reflective practice occurs when you explore an experience you have had to identify what happened, and what your role in the experience was – including your behaviour and thinking, and related emotions. This allows you to look at changes to your approach for similar future events. If reflective practice is performed comprehensively and honestly, it will inevitably lead to improved performances.

Other authors have described it as follows:

  • ‘Process of internally examining and exploring an issue of concern, triggered by an experience, which creates and clarifies meaning in terms of self and which results in a changed conceptual perspective’ (Boyd & Fales, 1983, p.100)                                     
  • ‘....requires you to stand back, to consciously analyse your decision making processes, drawing on theory and applying it again in practice’. (CSP, Information paper 31, 2005)             
  •   ‘Professional activity in which the practitioner thinks critically about their practice and as a result may modify their action or behaviour and/or modify their learning needs’ (CSP, Information paper 31, 2005)              
  • 'The way in which an individual develops a repertoire of knowledge and ability, which can be drawn upon in future situations'.  (Schon, 1983)

Acknowledgement

This guide has been modified from the La Trobe University Reflective Practice in Health Sciences LibGuide with permission.

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