Introduction to reflection
Selected and produced by Marion Waite, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University.
The objective of this resource is to introduce the concept of reflective practice within teaching and learning in higher education. Getting to grips with reflective practice can be troublesome and it is hoped that this resource is a useful starting point. If you are new to the concept of critical reflection the resource also aims to stimulate your curiosity and offer some concrete examples of how teachers in higher education use critical reflection as part of their every day practice.
The influential work of Polyani (1958, 1967 cited in Bulman and Schutz, 2008) suggests that it is sometimes hard to put practical knowledge into words and advised the development of ways of helping practitioners to be able to develop effective critical skills in order to reflect upon their practice.
The use of reflective cycles such as Kolb (1984) and Gibbs et al (1988) are examples of these developments, which you may already be familiar with. The essential role of reflection in these processes is to make sense of the observations of the effects of our practice, and use these reflections to continuously improve what we do.
Kolb's Learning Cycle
An additional framework for reflection within educational practice comes from the four critical lenses as identified by Stephen Brookfield (2005).
These lenses will be briefly described and then three short digital stories will be presented from both experienced and aspiring lecturers to exemplify three of these critical lenses. For the fourth critical lens you are encouraged to go on a voyage of discovery of your own by reviewing the additional learning objects and links, which support this resource.