‘becoming’ critically reflective practitioners: academics' and students' reflections on the...

Download ‘Becoming’ critically reflective practitioners: academics' and students' reflections on the issues involved

Post on 13-Apr-2017

213 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • This article was downloaded by: [Unam - Centro De Nano Ciencias]On: 20 December 2014, At: 06:12Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Human Resource DevelopmentInternationalPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rhrd20

    Becoming critically reflectivepractitioners: academics' and students'reflections on the issues involvedAileen Corley a & Elaine Eades ba Faculty of Business and Law Management School , LiverpoolJohn Moores University , John Foster Building 98 Mount Pleasant,Liverpool, UKb University of Liverpool Management School , LiverpoolUniversity , Chatham Building Chatham Street, Liverpool, UKPublished online: 07 Aug 2006.

    To cite this article: Aileen Corley & Elaine Eades (2004) Becoming critically reflectivepractitioners: academics' and students' reflections on the issues involved, Human ResourceDevelopment International, 7:1, 137-144, DOI: 10.1080/13678860310001630647

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13678860310001630647

    PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

    Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoeveror howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to orarising out of the use of the Content.

    This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &

    http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rhrd20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/13678860310001630647http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13678860310001630647

  • Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Una

    m -

    Cen

    tro

    De

    Nan

    o C

    ienc

    ias]

    at 0

    6:12

    20

    Dec

    embe

    r 20

    14

    http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

  • Becoming critically reflective practitioners:academics and students reflections on the issuesinvolved

    Aileen CorleyLiverpool John Moores University

    Elaine EadesLiverpool University

    Introduction

    Learning is a core concept within HRD and the ability to understand and enhanceindividual and organizational learning is key to effective HRD practice. Critically

    reflecting on practice is a central feature of effective learning and many authors (Kolb

    1984; Reynolds 1998; Schon 1983) have argued that reflection on practice is anessential skill for managers and professionals. But how do practitioners become

    reflective practitioners? This perspective on practice paper provides some insights

    into the processes involved and the interventions that can be used to enhancereflective skills. The paper will be of interest to readers who are concerned with

    operationalizing the concept of reflective practice. This includes academics and HRD

    professionals who have responsibility for designing and implementing learninginitiatives and practitioners who are expected to practise reflective skills and

    continuous professional development (CPD).

    The authors of this article are responsible for the design and delivery ofpostgraduate programmes. Two postgraduate programmes provided the case studies

    for this research and further detail is provided below. A stated aim of the programmes

    was to develop the students as critically reflective practitioners. This paper reports onthe emerging outcomes of an action research project, which explores how students

    and academics can become critically reflective practitioners. The paper also reports

    on planned future research and discusses the applicability of the research to the HRDprofession.

    Theories of reflective learning

    It is generally accepted that the purpose of management development and educationis to develop critically reflective practitioners. However, achieving this purpose can be

    problematic (Corley 2002; Craft 1997; King 1995). Within management learning

    the models of experiential learning have held and currently hold a dominant position(Pavlica et al. 1998; Reynolds 1998) and the ideas of Kolb (1984) and Schon (1983)have been elevated above all available alternatives. Reynolds (1998) argued that there

    are qualitative differences between reflection and critical reflection and describesreflection, as exemplified by experiential learning theories, as focusing on the

    HRDI 7:1 (2004), pp. 137144

    Human Resource Development InternationalISSN 1367-8868 print/ISSN 1469-8374 online 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd

    http://www.tandf.co.uk/journalsDOI: 10.1080/13678860310001630647

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Una

    m -

    Cen

    tro

    De

    Nan

    o C

    ienc

    ias]

    at 0

    6:12

    20

    Dec

    embe

    r 20

    14

  • immediate, presenting details of a task or problem. Reynolds (1998) argued that themeaning and significance of experiential learning theory has been limited by the

    individualized perspective that the theory promotes and he outlined four

    characteristics of critical reflection: it is concerned with questioning assumptions;the focus is social rather than individual; it pays particular attention to the analysis of

    power relations; and it is concerned with emancipation. Reynolds argues that:

    The aim of management education. . .should not be to fit people into institutions as theycurrently exist, but to encourage them in questioning and confronting the social andpolitical forces which provide the context of their work, and in questioning claims of(common sense) or (the way things should be done).

    (Reynolds 1998: 198)

    The above statement complemented our views regarding the aim of management

    education and the ideas of Reynolds provided additional insights into what reflective

    learning could be. For us, Reynolds view of the critically reflective practitionerextended the ideas of Kolb and Schon by making the social and political aspect of

    questioning current practice explicit.We believed that the ability to question taken-for-

    granted assumptions was central to effective learning, especially at postgraduate level.But could we share these insights and expectations with the students? This questioning

    of practice acted as a catalyst for the action research reported in this article.

    Sharing insights and expectations of postgraduate study

    A social constructionist perspective has informed this action research into how

    academics and students develop shared understandings. Attempting to make implicit

    knowledge explicit has been a central feature of the research and plannedinterventions integrating individual and group learning activities, with a focus on

    conversations for understanding and conversations for action (Pavlica et al. 1998)have impacted on student learning and the process of becoming a critically reflectivepractitioner. We have been influenced by the idea of the manager as practical author

    and the argument that:

    Learning can be considered as a process of argumentation in which thinking, reflecting,experiencing and action are different aspects of the same process. It is practicalargumentation with oneself and in collaboration with others that actually forms the basisof learning.

    (Pavlica et al. 1998: 145)

    The concept of a community of practice where individuals learn to become members

    of that community (Lave and Wenger 1991) through a process of socialization,

    developing shared understandings of practice, also provided useful theoretical insightsinto howHRM and HRD practitioners become critically reflective practitioners. It is

    recognized that within HRM andHRD educational programmes several communities

    of practice can be identified: the programme team, the employing organization andprofessional organizations. Stakeholder analysis (Simmons 2003) has provided further

    Perspectives on Practice

    138

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Una

    m -

    Cen

    tro

    De

    Nan

    o C

    ienc

    ias]

    at 0

    6:12

    20

    Dec

    embe

    r 20

    14

  • refinements of the issues involved within different communities. However, for thispaper the key issue is how each community has developed through the socialization

    process, including language, implicit and explicit knowledge and worldviews (Eades

    and Iles 2003). The key challenge for this action research was: how do we transfer ortranslate knowledge across communities if each community has become socialized?

    Making explicit and codifying (putting in written form) the aims and objectives of the

    educational