The concept of reflection: Is it skill based or values?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Reflection, reflectivity, reflective practice, reflective praxis and critical reflection are all dialogical terms used interchangeably to mean different things. It is timely to take time out and pause on this important concept to consider the wider implications of its use. Whatever reflection is, we know there are difficulties in identifying this complex idea writers, practitioners and scholars constantly engage with reflection in new debates about ‘how to do it better’ assuming the ‘it’ is something assessed and understood. More worryingly a student’s ability to reflect is assessed assuming the idea of reflective practice is a measurable phenomenon. Some have identified problems of assessing reflection. There is limited empirical evidence of what is reflection. In the substantial literature on reflection we have failed to ask the question – ‘What is reflection it if doesn’t exist that I might be able to perform it better and others can measure?’ The problem of reflection is more complicated when presenting reflective performance through language, which will also be explored. This article presents a challenge to contemporary ideas of the way in which reflection is conceptualised and understood. The article concludes with insights and a way forward for a new argument on reflection and how it might be linked to virtue ethics rather than it being viewed as a skill that can be taught.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-824
JournalSocial Work Education: International Journal
Volume35
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2016

Cite this

Ixer, G. (2016). The concept of reflection: Is it skill based or values? Social Work Education: International Journal, 35(17), 809-824. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2016.1193136
Ixer, Graham. / The concept of reflection: Is it skill based or values?. In: Social Work Education: International Journal. 2016 ; Vol. 35, No. 17. pp. 809-824.
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abstract = "Reflection, reflectivity, reflective practice, reflective praxis and critical reflection are all dialogical terms used interchangeably to mean different things. It is timely to take time out and pause on this important concept to consider the wider implications of its use. Whatever reflection is, we know there are difficulties in identifying this complex idea writers, practitioners and scholars constantly engage with reflection in new debates about ‘how to do it better’ assuming the ‘it’ is something assessed and understood. More worryingly a student’s ability to reflect is assessed assuming the idea of reflective practice is a measurable phenomenon. Some have identified problems of assessing reflection. There is limited empirical evidence of what is reflection. In the substantial literature on reflection we have failed to ask the question – ‘What is reflection it if doesn’t exist that I might be able to perform it better and others can measure?’ The problem of reflection is more complicated when presenting reflective performance through language, which will also be explored. This article presents a challenge to contemporary ideas of the way in which reflection is conceptualised and understood. The article concludes with insights and a way forward for a new argument on reflection and how it might be linked to virtue ethics rather than it being viewed as a skill that can be taught.",
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Ixer, G 2016, 'The concept of reflection: Is it skill based or values?', Social Work Education: International Journal, vol. 35, no. 17, pp. 809-824. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2016.1193136

The concept of reflection: Is it skill based or values? / Ixer, Graham.

In: Social Work Education: International Journal, Vol. 35, No. 17, 17.06.2016, p. 809-824.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Ixer G. The concept of reflection: Is it skill based or values? Social Work Education: International Journal. 2016 Jun 17;35(17):809-824. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2016.1193136