Reflective writing is an essential and fundamental part of learning and professional development. Even though reflection can seem a natural skill that we often use on a daily basis, reflective writing is skill that needs to be learnt and developed. The concept of reflective practice is often debated with many professionals defining it in diverse ways. One definition sees reflection as
‘a cognitive process carried out in order to learn from experiences through individual inquiry and collaboration with others (Benammar, 2004; Dewey, 1933; Mezirow, 1991; Moon, 2004; Schön, 1983). …reflection is commonly reported as a process of self-examination and self-evaluation that practitioners should engage in regularly in order to interpret and improve their professional practices (Husu, Toom, & Patrikainen, 2008)’ (Leijen et al., 2014:315).
One of the main challenges of reflective writing, which is the core of reflective practice, is being able to critically reflect. Often what happens is that students tend to describe more than reflect. This workshop focuses on the following questions: How can freewriting help you become a reflective practitioner? What models for reflective practice exist and how can these models help to generate reflection? What questions do you need to ask yourself to begin reflecting? What is the difference in use of language between describing and reflecting? What language can you use to ensure that you are critically reflecting?
Reflective writing sessions are available at the Skills Centre and are bookable through the Book your Skills Session page of the site.
Additional Sources you may find helpful to develop your understanding of reflective thinking and writing.
Communityworksinstitute.org. (2018). Dispelling the Myths of Reflection. [online] Available at:https://www.communityworksinstitute.org/cwjonline/articles/aarticles-text/cwilliams_reflectionmyths.html [Accessed 15 Jan. 2018].
Education.ie. (2018). Early Years Practitioner Survey Findings. Available at: https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Early-Childhood/Early-Years-Practitioner-Survey-Findings-2016.pdf [Accessed 15 Jan. 2018].
Latrobe.libguides.com. (2018). LibGuides: Reflective practice in health: When to use reflective practice. [online] Available at: https://latrobe.libguides.com/reflectivepractice/when-to-reflect [Accessed 15 Jan. 2018].
Learnhigher.ac.uk. (2018). Becoming reflective, How is reflective practice applied in academic life? Reflective writing, Reflective writing for assessment [online] Available at: http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/Reflection1.pdf [Accessed 15 Jan. 2018].
Learn.solent.ac.uk. (2018). Reflective thinking and writing. [online] Available at:https://learn.solent.ac.uk/mod/book/tool/print/index.php?id=2732#ch1114 [Accessed 15 Jan. 2018].
Canterbury Christ church University Guide to Reflective Writing Available at:https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/students/support-services/develop-your-learning/reflective-writing.aspx