An Autoethnographic Exploration of Learning and Teaching Reflective Practice

Published on May 19, 2015in Social Work Education
· DOI :10.1080/02615479.2015.1016903
Lynelle Watts4
Estimated H-index: 4
Learning and demonstrating reflective skills for practice is a key requirement for students and practitioners in Social Work in Australia. Yet teaching and assessing reflective practice continues to present a number of practical and ethical issues for educators. This paper will discuss reflective practice in the context of an autoethnographic study that researched learning to be a social worker and educator. The findings from the study suggest that educators should be cautious about the extent to which educational activities direct attention to student selves for the purposes of building skills in reflective practice. The conclusions suggest that the moral order of the discipline, the hidden curriculum and the course culture in addition to the actual activities can have a significant impact on the extent to which reflective practice assessments deliver learning benefits to students.
  • References (72)
  • Citations (6)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
130 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Bell Hooks (Berea College)H-Index: 32
bell hooks, one of America's leading black intellectuals, is also one of our most clear-eyed and penetrating analysts of culture. Outlaw culture - the culture of the margin, of women, of the disenfranchised, of racial and other minorities - lies at the heart of bell hooks' America. Raising her powerful voice against racism and other forms of oppression in the United States, hooks unlocks the politics of representation and the meaning of that politics for and in our time. hooks writes on many of ...
443 Citations
#1Ruth Swanwick (University of Leeds)H-Index: 10
#2Ruth Kitchen (University of Leeds)H-Index: 2
Last. Stephen Powers (University of Birmingham)H-Index: 8
view all 6 authors...
This paper presents a flexible framework of principles for teaching critical thinking and reflective practice skills at the postgraduate level. It reports on a collaborative project between four UK institutions providing postgraduate programmes in deaf education. Through a critical review of current theories of critical thinking and reflective practice in higher education, the authors identified and constructed frameworks of principles for relevant skills. They selected a set of learning activit...
14 CitationsSource
#1Richard Wayne Richards (University of Worcester)H-Index: 1
#2Lynn Maureen Richards (University of Wolverhampton)H-Index: 1
We uncover some of the practical issues and problems experienced when implementing a dialogic approach to teaching which is designed to encourage the active engagement of first-year students making a transition into higher education (HE) and to develop their capacity for reflective practice. Our approach draws on dialogic practice to promote critical thinking and active engagement of students. Dialogue is also addressed within Freirian principles and enshrined within the wider democratic framewo...
5 CitationsSource
#1Kåre Heggen (Volda University College)H-Index: 9
#2Lars Inge Terum (HiOA: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)H-Index: 4
This article examines the impact of professional education on students' dedication to and identification with a profession. The premise is that professional education is not only about knowledge acquisition and reasoning but also about attitudes and aspirations. In fostering dedication and identification, students' experiences of relevance seem to be important. The concept of coherence seen as an expression of relevance is introduced and measured by four kinds of interactions: Theory–practice in...
10 CitationsSource
#1Debra Coulson (Macquarie University)H-Index: 7
#2Marina Harvey (Macquarie University)H-Index: 11
Reflection is widely posited as a professional practice and process that supports students to learn through experience. Effective reflection for learning through experience requires a high level of introspection and open-minded self-analysis, a capacity for abstract learning, and self-regulation and agency that few students in higher education innately possess. Reflection can, however, be learnt and taught through strategic interventions and careful scaffolding. This paper outlines a new framewo...
62 CitationsSource
#1Mary E. Ryan (QUT: Queensland University of Technology)H-Index: 14
#2Michael Ryan (QUT: Queensland University of Technology)H-Index: 4
The importance of reflection in higher education and across disciplinary fields is widely recognised and it is generally included in university graduate attributes, professional standards and programme objectives. Furthermore, reflection is commonly embedded into assessment requirements in higher education subjects, often without necessary scaffolding or clear expectations for students. Despite the rhetoric around the importance of reflection for ongoing learning, there is scant literature on an...
109 CitationsSource
#1Helen Larkin (Deakin University)H-Index: 7
#2Ben Richardson (Deakin University)H-Index: 15
Higher education needs to provide challenging yet supportive learning environments catering for students with diverse academic needs. There is also an emphasis on using student-driven outcome measures to determine teaching effectiveness. How can these measures be used to reflect upon and evaluate teaching initiatives? Using an undergraduate occupational therapy programme as the site for exploration, this article reports on an application of constructive alignment principles and describes how ava...
21 CitationsSource
#1Alec GrantH-Index: 13
#2Nigel P. Short (University of Sussex)H-Index: 4
Last. Lydia Turner (University of Sussex)H-Index: 2
view all 3 authors...
13 Citations
As a social species, humans have a fundamental need to belong that encourages behaviors consistent with being a good group member. Being a good group member requires the capacity for self-regulation, which allows people to alter or inhibit behaviors that would place them at risk for group exclusion. Self-regulation requires four psychological components. First, people need to be aware of their behavior so as to gauge it against societal norms. Second, people need to understand how others are rea...
227 CitationsSource
#1Di Gursansky (UniSA: University of South Australia)H-Index: 5
#2Diana Quinn (UniSA: University of South Australia)H-Index: 10
Last. Eddie Le Sueur (UniSA: University of South Australia)H-Index: 3
view all 3 authors...
This article reports on a collaborative pilot study that aimed to improve final year social work students' capacity to reflect on the learning process through the use of an online journal. The ability to reflect on practice is widely regarded as a key skill in social work and journals are seen as a valuable aid in the process. At the same time, there are legitimate reservations about the authenticity of some learning through reflection, given the difficulties of measurement and the potential for...
27 CitationsSource
Cited By6
ABSTRACTSocial work educators face the task of integrating personal experiences into their teaching practice. In difficult topic areas such as child protection, violence, trauma, and abuse, the cha...
#1Valerie Gant (University of Chester)H-Index: 1
#2Lisa Cheatham (University of Chester)
Last. Nathalie Yatosenge (University of Chester)
view all 6 authors...
ABSTRACTThis paper discusses a research project involving five MA Social Work Students and one member of Social Work Academic Staff. Using narrative and taking a collaborative autoethnographical approach, this project highlights some of the feelings that students articulated following a 70-day placement experience. Findings include anxiety, powerlessness and frustration, together with growing confidence, recognition of their skills and a deeper understanding of the role of ‘self’ in social work....
#1Lynelle Watts (ECU: Edith Cowan University)H-Index: 4
ABSTRACTReflective practice, reflexivity, and critical reflection are now widely accepted as important in contemporary social work practice. Despite this, there remain differences in how the terms ...
6 CitationsSource
#1Rochelle Arms Almengor (John Jay College of Criminal Justice)H-Index: 1
2 CitationsSource
#1Michelle Newcomb (QUT: Queensland University of Technology)H-Index: 4
#2Judith A. Burton (QUT: Queensland University of Technology)H-Index: 4
Last. Niki Edwards (QUT: Queensland University of Technology)H-Index: 6
view all 3 authors...
Critical reflection potentially allows social work and human service (SWHS) students to understand how past experiences can shape their future practice. This study of 20 Australian undergraduate SWHS students with a history of childhood adversity found reflective writing for this purpose was not a useful pedagogical practice. Rather than developing skills in critical reflection students found the task performative, linked to academic requirements, where they needed to display emotional containme...
2 CitationsSource
#1Douglas L. Robertson (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 5
#1Sophie Goldingay (Deakin University)H-Index: 5
#2Danielle Hitch (Deakin University)H-Index: 9
Last. Viola Rosario (Deakin University)H-Index: 1
view all 5 authors...
AbstractSocial work is a discipline that attracts students from diverse academic backgrounds. Many are first in family to attend university, and come to university through alternative pathways such as vocational education. As a result, there are higher levels of attrition compared to other disciplines, especially in the first year. To address this, and in keeping with a commitment to provide accessible education, one school of social work undertook a project to embed academic literacies into the...
3 CitationsSource