Reflective Practitioner

On Reflective PhDs: I have at this point four PhD candidates who are all doing their PhDs with reflective practice as their methodology. While lack of certainty and clarity is their constant companion they are all on the verge of and continually come up with some startling insights. The trick is to take these insights seriously – which is in a sense my job as their supervisor. Reflective practice – especially in the realms of evidence based nursing practice is objectively the most robust body of work on reflective practice.  look there because of my work in Diabetes. For the majority of the designers and creative people their one source of knowledge is Donald Schon’s Reflective Practice (1995). Which tends to be a bit obfuscatory as it is mainly about the discourse and arguments for this kind of practice. So hard ‘methodology’ and practical accounts of the journey of a reflective practitioner are rare. At least in design. So why not look at nursing? I have collected here a bit of text on the topic. My interest is in reflective practice as an enabler for social innovation. Read on …

My studio-based PhD Ambivalent Belonging is an in-depth investigation into the meaning of simultaneous cultural belonging and not belonging, from the point of view of personal experience. The thesis is a complexity of accumulating and interacting fragments, in which an initial idea developed in multiple directions, through two distinct modes of expression, requiring an inventive methodology, beyond commonly proposed models.

I considered the whole thesis, that is, studio work and writing, as an art project; and regarded this project as a complex mapping of several journeys in one, like a Deleuzian rhizome route system, or a Benjaminian flanerie. I will come back to these terms. They suited not only the structuring of the research; they underpinned important facets of its arguments as well. I considered this theoretical referencing itself as a form of mapping, constructing a “holding environment”, through which thoughts and ideas moved.

This research was undertaken from within a visual art perspective, where writing and artwork responded to each other and yet were autonomous; they moved alongside each other as well as faced each other, touched, departed and intertwined. This led to the simultaneity of working as an uneven interchange. A regular alternating rhythm was never sustained; working patterns always dissolved. The task was to construct both parts of the thesis as a coherent whole; their levels and directions interconnected and in relation to the central question, but in this investigation into personal, lived experience, I was surrounded by myriad facets, and was by no means sure of clear directions or routes.

Initially I imagined the whole research process as circular. So rather than it being in front of me, as a task ahead, I saw myself as always already within it, wandering around, looking for meanings. Thinking this way I could begin to map ideas, with routes in any direction, like a web or net. This was at first full of gaps and question marks and structural errors. Over time it gave a sense of space and of being surrounded or held by the net of the research itself.

From Dr. Irmina van Niele, South Australian School of Art, University of South Australia, Thesis models presentation august 2007

Quote from RMIT site ( “seek out practitioners who have developed a body of work demonstrating mastery of their field, invite them to reflect upon the nature of that mastery within a critical framework, to speculate through design on the nature of their future-practice and to demonstrate their findings publicly.”

Blurb for Leon’s book, Mastering Architecture: Becoming a Creative Innovator in Practice: “It is easy for even the most accomplished of designers to lose sight of their higher creative goals, once they are in ensconced in practice and burdened by the everyday concerns of running an office and overseeing complex projects. However, it is essential for any architect aspiring to achieve a mastery of their profession to retain an ongoing awareness and understanding of their creative development. This book is a touchstone for architects who want to get back to a creative form of practice, in order to continue progressing and evolving their work. Mastering Architecture draws on the research of approximately fifty architects who have taken a close look at the nature of their own mastery. This research into mastery reveals things that every practitioner should know about their creative practice – things which most architects are only aware of at an intuitive level. The book flags up personal attributes, such as stamina, creative energy and intellectual capital, which are intrinsic to dynamic practice. It also suggests ways in which practitioners can self-curate their positions within the triangle of their creativity, evolving not only the cultural structure of their profession but the wider world in which they operate.”

The PhD student as an adult learner: using reflective practice to find and speak in her own voice, Johnson, Helen (2001) The PhD student as an adult learner: using reflective practice to find and speak in her own voice. Reflective Practice, 2(1), pp. 53-63. ISSN (print) 1462-3943, “Being a PhD student requires a discipline and adherence to an academic discourse. (The latter is especially true of the social sciences.) This discourse requires a researcher to consider and present her work in an omniscient and impersonal tone. But what happens – and what should be the PhD student’s response – when an autobiographical episode, involving a number of personal crises entirely beyond her control – impinge on her work to such an extent that thinking and writing in this omniscient voice becomes impossible, to the point that it forces her from her studies? This individual case study explores the relevance and usefulness of reflection in action and reflection on action to understand the situation, contain it – and to devise a way forward.”

Theory-Guided Evidence-Based Reflective Practice: An Orientation to Education for Quality Care, Carol Picard, RN; PhD, Elizabeth A. Henneman, RN; PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts Elizabeth A. Henneman, RN; PhD

Ovens, A. P. (2004). The (im)possibility of critical reflection: The lived experience of reflective practice in teacher education PhD Thesis, School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland.

Reflective practice: a critique of the work of Argyris and Schön, Jennifer Greenwood SRN SCM DipN RNT DipEd MEd PhD: “The seminal work of Argyris and Schon on action theories, technical rationality and reflective practice is reviewed, it is argued that their work reflects important inconsistencies between their theorizing and the pedagogical interventions they implemented/recommended The implications of the results of these inconsistencies, which appear mirrored in nurse-education programmes in the United Kingdom and Australia, are discussed Tentative suggestions for the provision of a more adequate practical pedagogy are included”.

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