Reflection and reflective writing Business and Society Developed by the Learning Advisers, UniSA What is reflection? Probably something you naturally do in everyday life. More than just going over events as they happened. 1. What would prompt you to reflect? 2. When and how would you do it? 3. Would you call it something different?
Reflecting on a time you Got lost going somewhere for the first time Were late for a meeting/class Left your phone/textbook at home
Forgot to pay a bill on time Left your bus pass at home 1. 2. 3. 4. How did you feel? What would you have done differently? Did you make any changes to your behaviour for the next time? What did you learn?
Definitions Reflection is the mental process through which human beings convert experience into personal knowledge (Jones & Shelton cited in Kathpalia & Heah 2008, p. 303). Reflective practice is 'consciously thinking about and analysing what one has done (or is doing)'. It is a process of looking back over our experiences, reflecting upon them and making sense of them (Mezirow 1991; Rolfe, Freshwater & Jasper 2001). Medical knowledge is
influenced by social structures, funding, professional vested interests etc. Several insurance companies & employers tried to discredit the concept of RSI Measures, including
ergonomic furniture and routine breaks, were introduced to reduce the problem In the 1980s, trade unions publicized the problem of RSI RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
In the late 1980s, the RSI movement in Australia declined RSI is ...is unknown or rare outside Australia .. there has been no epidemic of it elsewhere
Media focus on RSI was intense, but has now reduced. The number of RSI claims in Australia increased in the mid 1980s (Adapted from Bammer & Martin 1992)
Reflective practice in the workplace Can facilitate: 1. confidence in dealing with uncertainties of professional life 2. greater awareness of personal values, ethics, prejudices, assumptions, decision-making processes that can influence how we work 3. increased critical awareness of our professional field and its ethics 4. review of forgotten areas of practice (Bolton 2005, p.24) Reflective practice in the workplace
5. Analysis of hesitations and knowledge/skills gaps 6. Constructive awareness of relationships with colleagues 7. The ability to face problematic episodes 8. Sharing of experience and expertise (Bolton 2005, p.24) Reflective writing Reflective writing piece has elements of description, but also goes beyond description. For more information, see Study Help site: What is the connection between reflection and reflective writing? See Reflective tasks under Assignments
How is reflective writing different from other academic writing? See Writing styles at University under Improving your Academic skills What is the difference between descriptive and reflective writing? See Moving from descriptive to reflective writing under Assignments. Language Reflective writing tends to have the following kinds of language: The use of I Verbs of cognition e.g. believe, realise, think, contemplate, reflect, agree, be aware, make sense, find, explore - & related forms (awareness, reflection)
Verbs of perception e.g. feel Language Tense choices that show the result of reflection e.g. I have now realised (use of present perfect tense to show impact of past action on present situation) Reporting verbs which introduce information from sources, but dont suggest a fixed argument e.g. outline, discuss, explore Language
Phrases which draw attention to the process of reflection I was going over the lecture notes, after reading the action plan, I understood, so I started considering and analysing I have drawn on these varied experiences, on reflection, through understanding the readings Some use of hypothetical/conditional language if there were.. I would, the effort of social sustainability in my career would benefit me Language that may express future directions, plans or implications (will) - it will lead me to a more content form of business managing More on reflective writing For specific questions about the assignment, ask your tutor or course
coordinator. A video on the features of reflective writing is available through the Study Help site (see Study resources for the Business School). The online resource Introduction to reflective practice includes more details and activities: https://lo.unisa.edu.au/course/view.php?id=6856 This NSW Uni site has an introduction to reflective writing with some examples: http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/reflect.html Study help resources www.unisa.edu.au/studyhelp
Learning support Learning Advisers can provide you with resources and advice on areas such as: Understanding different assignment tasks Academic writing Referencing and academic integrity Adapting to university study Participate in a workshop, drop-in with a quick query, explore our online resources or make an appointment (f-2-f, phone or email) www.unisa.edu.au/StudyHelp Book online, or contact Campus Central for appointments: 1300 301 703
Referencing website www.unisa.edu.au/Referencing Bibiliography Bammer, G & Martin, B 1992, Repetition Strain Injury in Australia: Medical Knowledge, Social Movement, and De FactoPartisanship, Social Problems, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 219-237. Bolton, G 2005, Reflective practice: writing and professional development, SAGE, London. Gibbs, G 1988, Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Brookes University, London.
Kolb, D 1984, The process of experiential learning, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. Kathpalia, S & Heah, C 2008, Reflective writing: insights into what lies beneath, RELC Journal, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 300- 317. Mezirow, J 1991, Transformative dimensions of adult learning, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. Moon, J 1999, Learning journals: a handbook for academics, students and professional development, Kogan Page, London. Moon, J 2004, A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice, RoutledgeFalmer, Oxon. Rolfe G, Freshwater D & Jasper M 2001, Critical reflection for nursing and helping professionals: A user's guide, Palgrave, New York.
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