Writing academically

Reflective Practice & Gibbs Reflective Cycle

Models of Reflection

The work of Platzer et al 1997 identified that learning through reflection is more potent if there is an understanding of frameworks that encourage a structural process to guide the act of reflection. Several models to help you engage in the process of reflection are now discussed. There is no right one. It is important you choose the framework that feels most comfortable for you and best assists you in learning from your experiences. The most important aspect of engaging in reflective writing for work-based learning is that your writing is able to demonstrate a changed conceptual perspective. The process of reflective writing leads to more than just a gain in your knowledge it should also challenge the concepts and theories by which you make sense of knowledge. When you reflect on a situation you do not simply see more, you see differently. This different way of viewing a situation is reflected in statements about a commitment to action. Action is the final stage of reflection (Atkins and Murphy 1994). Sharing your reflective writing with your mentor / academic advisor will assist you in the process of revealing new perspectives.

Gibbs Reflective Cycle

Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle is fairly straightforward and encourages a clear description of the situation, analysis of feelings, evaluation of the experience, analysis to make sense of the experience, conclusion where other options are considered and reflection upon experience to examine what you would do if the situation arose again. This cycle can be used for your reflective writing, but if you are using it at level 3 or 4 you need to adjust the cycle so that analysis permeates through each stage


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