Friday, 22 July 2011

Thing 5 - Reflective practice

I don't know why I keep putting this one off; I should be well used to writing reflectively as it was an integral part of my art qualifications, both written reflection and also (horror of horrors) verbal.  I still remember the dreaded 'crits', standing up in front of a group of your peers with a selection of your work and talking about it, sheer torture.

So, for some reason I shy away from doing reflective writing now, but it is a valuable tool.  A number of people have already pointed out that if you are thinking of doing chartership then it's going to involve reflective practice, and as I have been umming and ahhing about becoming chartered, I should perhaps get into the habit now.

But even without the impetus of chartership, reflection makes sense as a tool to help career development.  You identify strengths and weaknesses, learn from your experiences and approach problems from a number of different angles to gain a better understanding of how best to deal with similar ones in the future.

So, the upshot of my reflection has been - I am bad at reflection.
And, the actions to deal with it - stop being a baby and just get on with it.

One way to help me with this process is to design some evaluation forms, something with relatively quick questions just to get me into the habit of noting down my thoughts.  Often the hardest thing about writing is the blank page (or screen) staring at you, so some prompts might help kick start the process.  I managed to find a template here it was originally prepared as part of a Clinical Educators Resource Kit by the Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative.  A couple of tweaks will turn it into a very handy reflection aid.


  1. Seems a lot of us are squirmy about this reflection business. Your instinct to add some structure to it with a template is a very practical approach that I admire.

  2. Thanks Melanie,
    Although I can't really take credit for the idea. Years ago I did a GNVQ in art and they always made us fill in evaluation forms, which were in a Q & A format. We hated them at the time, but come the big evaluations at the end of each semester they turned out to be invaluable.