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What is Donald Schon's Theory of Reflective Practice?

What is Donald Schon's Theory of Reflective Practice?
December 26, 2020

What is Donald Schon's Theory of Reflective Practice?

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What is Donald Schon's Theory of Reflective Practice?

In nursing, the reflection process is termed as a cycle that needs to be repetitive. The four aspects of the reflective cycle are to teach, self-assess, consider, and practice. Reflective practice is said to be a process to learn from and through experiences en route to acquisition of new understandings and perceptions for practice (Finlay, 2008). Reflection is a fundamental part of learning and teaching. It generally aims to enhance your professional knowledge and actions. 

However, in today’s blog, we are going to study Donald Schon’s theory of reflective practice. 

Donald Schon has made an impactful contribution to our understanding of practices and theories of learning. His innovative thinking such as – double-loop learning, the learning society, and reflection-in-action are now a part of education language. Here, we explore “Donald Schon's theory of reflective practice” under the supervision of nursing assignment experts. 

Donald A. Schon: A Brief Introduction

Donald Schon with Herbert Simon and Horst Rittel was the one in the midst of early contributors to cognitive design theory. He completed a Master’s and Doctorate studied (Philosophy) from Harvard University. During education, his thesis dealt with Dewey’s theory of inquiry. He explains reflective practice as a practice that helps a professional to be aware of inherent learning and knowledge from his/her experience. 

In his book The Reflective Practitioner, in the 1st and 2nd chapters, he questions the boundaries of a technical rationality that are very much likely to ignore the significance of problem settings. As a result, it lessens confidence in professional knowledge. However, the questions are listed by our assignment help experts – 

  • In practice, what types of reflection are there in action, differences, and features?
  • In what ways, such processes interrelate with each other, and how technical problems solving are related to it?
  • Identify if there is any such rigor peculiar to reflection-in-action? 
  • What sets the boundaries of an individual’s ability to reflect-in-action? 
  • How do institutional constraints and individuals interact with each other? 
  • What are the different directions that we should look into in order to enhance the depths and scope of reflection-in-action.

Brief Discussion to the Reflective Practitioner

The Reflective Practitioner book is termed as a seminal book where Schon developed his reflective activity theory, reflection in action, and knowing in action. With the help of his proposal of the reflective-practice concept, contrast design as rational problem solving which was defended by Simon in Sciences of the Artificial. He says that problem setting is ignored in problem-solving. He also discusses that reflection is liable to a type of rigor which is both unlike and like of controlled experiment and scholarly research. For Donald, reflection-in-action was one of the most essential components of professional artistry – an aspect differentiated on the basis of technical-rationality which was demanded by the paradigm where problems can be solved by the rigorous applications of Science. 

While reading the book, you will come to see that in the first two chapters, he discusses that technical-rationality cannot solve the ‘rigor versus relevance’ dilemma, and he advises that dilemma is the main reason for the crisis of confidence in professional expertise and knowledge. Thus, the values the understandings and visions that are gained from experiences, rather than directly involved in the situation. The key idea behind this is that with the help of reflection-in-action that generally answers to the belief “that our knowing is in our action (p. 49, the Reflective Practitioner). 

Now, the question is “what is reflective practice?” Schön says that reflective practice is a type of practice through which an individual comes to know about the implicit knowledge and learning based on their experiences. Moreover, Schon discusses the reflection on action and reflection in action. Here, reflection-on-action is reflected after a particular incident/situation, to analyse, review, and evaluate whereas reflection-in-action reflects on the behaviour that happens. One more term he discusses in his book is “knowing in action” in order to explain the tacit knowledge.

Benefits of Reflective Practice

Additionally, it is important to understand the ways in which reflective practice is useful, valuable, and efficient in nursing. The benefits are discussed below - 

Reflective practice helps developing confidence - Reflective practice generally develops the ability to know the useful steps that help in student’s learning and the ways to teach them. It helps in recognizing the barriers of learning for students. After this, you develop different lessons for which the students face difficulties in understanding or unable to access them. 

Reflective practice ensures responsibility towards students - It permits to change lessons that suit the best fit for classes. Here, you are allowed to develop and experiment with new learning methods and ideas in order to attain success. By change in experimenting and learning with new ideas and methods, students can think imaginatively, creatively, and resourcefully.

Reflective practice support engagement - It assists you to challenge your own practices where you come to rationalise choices and justify decisions that are made. It supports in enhancing understanding of different viewpoints and perspectives. These perspectives and/or viewpoints may be of students who are concentrating on their preferences, strengths, and developments, or might be those students who are sharing different strategies and best practices. When a teacher is aware of their students’ strengths and preferences then learning becomes custom as per their needs and thus they are eager to learn and to research deeply.

Reflective Practice is beneficial for all - With the help of reflecting, you come to develop an environment that focuses on learning. Such an environment helps teachers as well as students to be engaged, confident, innovative, and responsible. 

There are many more things to know about Donald Schon's theory of reflective practice, apart from these. So, reach to our experts through a phone call, email, or live chat. In order to help you, we are working with a team of highly-experienced assignment writers who have enough knowledge of Donald Schon's model. Thus, feel free to contact us to gain ample knowledge about Donald's theory of reflective practice.

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