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Through the Mirror: An Exploration of the Positives and Pitfalls of Encouraging Students to Think Reflectively

Lewis, Joanne (2013) Through the Mirror: An Exploration of the Positives and Pitfalls of Encouraging Students to Think Reflectively. Masters thesis, University of Worcester.

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Abstract

Reflective practice has established itself as a recognised method of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) within the field of Youth and Community work. However, concerns have been raised at the students’ lack of ability to engage in critical reflection (Richards and Richards 2012) and the shortage of contemporary research specifically related to this issue (Elmslie 2009). This dissertation focuses on the impact an educator has on a student’s experience of reflective practice within the classroom. The research has been conducted through an action research study using heuristic methods to engage in a deeper exploration of the experiences of student and educator. Initial discussions with a focus group of six students led the way with this exploration, which developed into a collaborative research study with a student co-researcher. This research produced a number of key findings including: that assumptions regarding a student’s ability to engage in the reflective process are often questionable; by viewing reflective practice in terms of teaching and learning can create a barrier for both the student and the educator and finally that the assessment process for reflective practice is problematic and often floored. The recommendations drawn from this research includes, the need to keep the course content flexible and creative therefore, adapting to the individual needs of the students. Ensuring that alternative ways are explored in which to design the assessment process and therefore reducing the emphasis on journal writing. Finally, the importance of both reflective and reflexive processes and making sure that they are embedded in the life and work of the educator, to provide individuals with ongoing CPD, which in turn will inform and improve the experiences of both students and educators within a Higher Education Institution. The overall conclusion of this research study suggests that when reflective practice is fully appreciated and understood it has the capacity to make a transformational shift.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:

Dissertation submitted as part requirement for the
Master of Arts in Transformative Practice
at University of Worcester

Uncontrolled Keywords: reflective practice, action research, teaching,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
Copyright Info: Joanne Lewis
Depositing User: Joanne Lewis
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2015 13:14
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2015 13:14
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3797

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