From an employability perspective, we often talk about the key skills required by employers with the emphasis being placed on graduates who have well developed interpersonal skills such as self awareness, the ability to communicate effectively, self management etc. However, in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, reflective practice can be a useful tool to support graduates as they face these challenges.
Reflective practice is said to expand self awareness, bring rigour to critical thinking and hone communication skills, whilst growing the capacity of individuals to respond effectively, make timely decisions, manage emotions, conduct productive relationships and cope with stress.
Learning is often considered to be a discreet activity which involves reading books, attending workshops or practising something when in fact, we are learning all the time. Reflective practice is a way of recognising and articulating what we are learning on a moment by moment basis.
We all have a unique set of experiences, mental models and assumptions and reordering and restructuring them, sometimes referred to as ‘unlearning’ can generate new knowledge, understanding and insights. Thus, we become actively engaged in our own learning process by relating ideas and concepts to personal experience.
I would be really interested in hearing from, and talking to colleagues who have incorporated an element of reflective practice/assessment in their programmes with a view to identify tensions, capture best practice and share across the university through workshops.