Caffarella, R. S. (2001). Planning
programs for adult learners: A practical guide for educators, trainers, and
staff developers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
guidebook tries to include all the skills, roles and tasks that any educator,
educational or meeting planner, or program planner could find useful and applicable.
Caffarella presents a model of program planning
that is holistic, comprehensive, and flexible. She includes not only all the
educational components of planning programs, including lesson planning, learning
objectives, and instructional techniques. She also includes some of the more
logistical or administrative tasks and roles as well. She writes about budgeting,
developing organizational support, and report writing. The book includes worksheets
at the end of each chapter to help in application. Caffarella blends the practical and theoretical in a very
effective manner. The book is well-written, clear, and organized. I liked
this book so much that I incorporated it in a continuing education course
that I facilitated on training and development.
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of
the oppressed. NY: Continuum.
classic book seeks to set education in a social context and as a tool of personal,
social, and political liberation. Freire uses as
a foundation his experiences with illiterate peasants in Brazil. The book’s main thesis seems to be
that, through education, humans can become more skilled in understanding themselves
in their social context. There were several key concepts that rang particularly
true for me. One strong point Freire makes is how
education is never neutral; educators oppress or liberate. Another interesting
idea is that those who are oppressed must liberate themselves, and, in so
doing, also liberate the oppressors. Relevant to my specific area of study
is how critical reflection and praxis are key in re-humanizing both the oppressed
and oppressors. This book is heavily jargonized and a bit dated in terms of
its context. However, every line is worth deciphering due to the plethora
of interesting concepts put forth. This is a must-read for all adult educators
Johnston, R. (1992). Evaluation: the
problem that won’t go away. International Journal of
University Adult Education. 31:1, p. 63-74.
article reviews evaluation and the problems that arise therein. The author
starts by describing some of the difficulties of evaluation and why it is
not always looked upon favourably. She then discusses
the downfalls of summative evaluation and advocates for a formative approach
so that the participants benefit directly from the feedback received. Johnson
also advocates for re-thinking how we evaluate in that most evaluation is
directed towards individuals, whereas ‘in reality’ most efforts are a part
of collaborative or collective action. This article seems directed towards
formal educational institiutions, rather than continuing
professional education. This is a relatively basic article, seemingly directly
to those new to the area of evaluation.
S.B., & Caffarella, R. S. (1999). Self-directed
learning. In Learning in adulthood (pp.288-317).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
authors write an extensive introduction and overview of the goals, models,
learner attributes and the gaps in literature as they related to self-directed
learning (sdl). This somewhat lengthy, overly-detailed
article describes all of the major models of sdl, categorized by type. They also discuss the responses
and criticisms to each model, exposing their strengths and weaknesses. I really
appreciated that the authors spend a part of the article critiquing the lack
of research into sdl, and they list a number of
research questions that they believe would enlighten our knowledge of sdl. This article goes into more detail than most introductory
articles, but for those determined to seriously explore sdl, this is a good place to start.
Taylor, E. (1998). Transformative Learning
Theory—An Overview. In The theory
and practice of transformative learning: A critical review. Washington, DC: Department of
Education. Retrieved January 21, 2002
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.
monograph describes, through a review of the literature, the key theories
of transformative learning. Most of the focus is on the theory articulated
by Mezirow. The author then compares the concepts Mezirow to Robert Boyd’s concept of transformation as individuation
and to Paolo Freire’s emancipatory transformation. Chock full of the important details
of the three concepts of transformation, this is an excellent summary for
anyone starting to explore transformational learning.
Vella, J. (1994). Learning to Listen Learning to Teach: The power of dialogue in
educating adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Vella has written this easy-reading book, focussing
on her experiences in community development and adult education, primarily
in other cultures. She proposes twelve principles for effective adult learning,
and describes how these principles inform course design and teaching. Her
examples are sometimes uni-dimensional and lacking
in the measurement of the impact of the interventions which she describes.
The twelve principles presented are helpful and well-substantiated. Her examples
may be helpful in integrating the principles into my own practice as well
Vella, J., Berardinelli, P., & Burrow, J. (1998). How do they know they
know? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
authors strongly advocate a process for integrating evaluation into the design
and delivery of any educational offering. They discuss learning, transfer
and impact as the three components of evaluation. The elements are approached
in terms of key elements, process to complete, and timing. They also focus
an accountability planner, which is a tool to be used to determine what can
be evaluated, and how appropriate evaluation can be determined.
This model embraces the popular education approach to education and is participative
and specific. They then use three examples to demonstrate how the approach
advocated can better ensure effective evaluation. This is a simple read, short,
concise and beneficial to anyone who might be interested in improving their
ability to evaluate any educational offering.
Critical Reflection -
Ahlstrand, E., & Nilsson,
K. (1999). Preparing to become a reflective practitioner.
A Swedish perspective. Washington, DC: Department
of Education. Retrieved January 27, 2001,
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction No.
authors describe a first attempt at integrating reflective practices into
teacher training in Sweden. Using seminars, mentoring and writing
reflective texts in the creation of personal plans of action, they summarize
some of the comments of the teachers after going through the process. Shallow
in content and in reporting of the impact of the study, the authors add little
to the discussion of enhancing teaching abilities using critical reflection.
This is one read that can easily be left out of any reading list.
J. R., Saparito, P., Kressel,
K. Christenson, E., & Hooijberg, R. (1997). A
model for reflective pedagogy. Journal of Management Education,
authors describe a study of a model of reflective pedagogy implemented with
business school instructors at Rutgers University. Based on the writings of
Donald Schön (that is, the concepts of surprise,
frustration and failure as well as dialogue between mentor/novice), the study
incorporates strategies to assist the instructor in developing ‘professional
artistry’; to transcend the rules and conventions of a profession, via reflection,
to solve unique problems by reshaping past experiences in order to interpret the situation and take action. The strategies used
in the study include the development of a teaching portfolio, obtaining systematic
student feedback, and attending a reflective practitioner workshop. The article
is shallow in the depth its findings, as well as inarticulate as to the rationale
for the choice of strategies used to help develop reflective practices. This
article is useful only as a relatively small and inconclusive piece of a larger
investigation into reflective pedagogy.
Boud, E. M., & Fales, A. W. (1983). Reflective learning: Key to learning
from experience. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, (23)2, 99-115.
authors describe the process and focus of developing critically reflective
skills. Based on research of nine practitioners, they extrapolate much from
a relatively small sample. The article is unique in that most others related
to critical reflection discuss the concept of critical reflection or techniques
to help develop such skills. The authors of this article focus on the process
of the development of criticallyeflective practices.
Though unclear as to the difference between the processes and the focuses
they discuss, this article illuminates how one might develop conscious critical
reflection. Because of the uniqueness of the content of this article, it is
an excellent resource for anyone developing their own or fostering others’
Brookfield, S. D. (1992).
Uncovering assumptions: The key to re flective practice. Adult Learning,
author describes four generic exercises designed to uncover hidden assumptions.
This is a short and succinct article that is practical and applied. The exercises
seem to be minor variations on each other, which may be indicative of the
specific conditions required to encourage critical reflection in formal education.
Similar to his other articles, I found this one very useful and practical.
I will definitely use at least one of the exercises, or a variation thereof,
in the courses that I design and deliver. There is not much theory presented,
or rationale for the need for uncovering assumptions. For these reasons, the
audience that would most benefit from this article is those already aware
of the concept and issues related to reflexivity and looking for practical
ways to integrate critical reflection into course design and delivery.
Brookfield, S. D. (1994).
Tales from the dark side: A phenomenography
of adult critical reflection. International Journal of Lifelong Education,
article is a reality check for those looking at integrating critical reflection
into curricula. Based on the study of graduate adult educators at a major
American university, Brookfield identifies some of the
potential emotional obstacles those reflecting critically might encounter.
He discusses the negative emotional impacts of starting down the road of critical
reflection. Specifically, he identifies impostorship,
cultural suicide, lost innocence, and roadrunning
as some of the emotions experienced by those in the study. He also discusses
the importance of community in supporting those on this journey. He advocates
for the full disclosure of the potential pitfalls of reflecting critically
to those embarking on the journey of developing critical reflection skills.
This is an important article in that it is one of the few that discusses the
negative impacts of reflecting critically and thus is a must-read.
D. (2000). The concept of critically reflective practice. In A. L. Wilson and E.R. Hayes (Eds.), Handbook of adult and continuing
education (pp. 33-49). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Brookfield provides an overview
of the philosophical perspectives that frame the variety of definitions and
foci of critical reflection as they relate to adult education. Being very
clear about his own perspective, Brookfield interestingly illustrates
the practice of critical reflection by critically reflecting on the concept
itself, thereby illuminating some of the underlying principles that may be
problematic. He argues that although there are inherent problems with critical
reflection, without self-examination of adult education practices, we risk
moving further away from some of the very goals most embraced by the profession
(inclusion, collaboration and democracy). With critical reflection, however,
we can become more understanding of individual experience and context, and
how “universal templates” of adult education practices can be limiting. This
is a clearly written and organized primer for understanding issues related
to critical reflection and is an excellent starting point to delve into this
broad topic area.
Cervero, R.M. & Wilson,
A.L. (2001). At the heart of practice: The struggle for knowledge and power.
In Power and practice: Adult education and the struggle for knowledge and
power in society (pp.1-20). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
authors present this article as an introduction to the rest of the articles
in the book. The primary
message is that adult education cannot be neutral politically. Power in adult education can be categorized in three specific
strands, based on a review of the existing literature. ‘Politics as personal’
views the individual learner as the focus and in which issues of power are
largely invisible. ‘Politics as practical’ acknowledges the power issues,
but focuses on working within systems of politics to accomplish end goals.
‘Politics as structural’ sees education relationally but also to reshape
these systems to a more just and equitable life for all people. This is well-written
and a good primer for those new to issues of power and politics in adult education.
Cervero, R.M. & Wilson,
A.L. (1999). Beyond learner-centered practice: Adult education, power, and society.
Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, (13)2, 27-38.
article is almost identical to “At the heart of
practice: The struggle for knowledge and power” by the same authors. I read
the other article first, so my response to this one was distaste, even though
this article was written first. The authors discuss the three strands of understanding
how adult educators respond to issues of power: personal, practical and structural.
They strongly advocate a move away from a learner-centered model, the personal
strand, to one which recognizes the power issues that provide the context
for the learners. I would definitely recommend either this article or the
other mentioned. I would not suggest that both the articles are necessary
due to the duplication.
Thinking Consortium. (n.d). Retrieved
27, 2002 from http://www.criticalthinking.org.
website is a repository of short articles related to critical thinking and
its application to k-12, colleges and universities, and business. These sections
largely contain the same articles available in other sections of the site,
with no additional or specific articles to make it worthwhile to go to different
sections. The articles are generally very short, and lack the depth that would
be desired by anyone with more than a basic knowledge of critical thinking.
There is also a series of related books and articles for sale on the site.
The site is well-organized and easy to read and navigate. This would be a
good site for those new to the concepts surrounding critical thinking, who
are looking for easily digestible nuggets of content.
Freidus, H. (2000). Fostering
reflective practice: taking a look at context. Washington, DC: Department
of Education. Retrieved February 21, 2002
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.
paper describes strategies and techniques used at the Bank Street College
of Education to develop reflective practices with graduate students. The techniques
and rationale for each one used are clearly laid out and appear well thought
out as well. The primary techniques discussed include journalling and the
development of teaching portfolios, both under the guidance of faculty advisors.
They seem to focus on the development of critical reflection throughout the
programme, but especially within the students’ fieldwork experience. They
are clear that the process of developing critical practices is both individual
and communal. If I were developing a programme of study related to teacher
education, I would closely examine the Bank Street model as it seems comprehensive
Mezirow, J. (1990). How critical
reflection triggers transformative learning. In J. Mezirow (Ed.), Fostering critical reflection in adulthood
(pp. 1-18). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
author approaches the concept, process, and impact of reflection from a transformational
learning perspective, in which adults come to realize how childhood experiences
limit development and therefore must be re-framed as adults. This article
serves as the foundational reading to subsequent chapters in this theme-oriented
book. The reading, unavoidably laden with definitions and concepts related
to reflection, learning, and transformation, might have to be read several
times by newcomers to the topic. In spite of (or rather, because of) the technical
language used, this article is a good place to start in the investigation
of transformative learning and the role reflection plays in that process.
Mezirow, J. (1994). Transformative
dimensions of adult learning. San
book makes a strong conceptual and practical argument for learning to be a
life-altering experience. Reading this book provided me with a different and
transformative perspective on my role as an adult educator. To be truly effective,
an educator must provide more than the skills and knowledge to perform more
effectively. He or she must foster the ability to critically reflective, not
just develop, on the knowledge, skills or attitudes be taught. I found the
first half of this book to be a bit too conceptual for my liking. However,
the second half of the book was much more concrete and practical. This is
a must read for adult educators looking to move beyond the fostering of basic
knowledge, skills, and attitudes and to helping learners transform through
Mezirow, J. (1998). On critical reflection.
Adult Education Quarterly, (48)3, 185-197.
author presents an overview of the types of critical reflection of assumptions
(cra) and critical self-reflection of assumptions
(csra). He reviews the various categories of cra and csra. Mezirow
provides the historical and foundational basis for critical reflection in
adult education. This would seem to be a seminal article in grasping the diverse
range of implications and applications of cra and
csra. Not an easy read, as it is quite technical in language,
it is still a worthwhile article for those interested in understanding the
basics of critical reflection and its value in adult education.
Nichols, M. (2003).
Reflection: Relevance and consequence. In Teaching for
learning (pp.107-127). New Zealand: Traininc.co.nz
chapter is one of the most useful readings I have done on the theory and practice
of critical reflection in academic settings. Concise, well-researched, and
practical, the author lays a solid foundation of the concept and benefits
of reflection. Nichols also makes a particularly strong argument for the need
to link interaction with reflection. The chapter describes concepts clearly,
and adds many concrete examples, which are used to illustrate how reflection
can, and should, be a part of any formal learning experience.
B., & Austin, P. (1996). Orientations to reflective
practice. Educational Research, (38)3, 307-315.
authors describe five orientations to reflective practice, as they relate
to teacher education. The orientations range from working within, and supporting,
organized structures, to that of more transformative education, wherein authoritative
constraints are resisted and learning is inner-directed and focused on personal
development. Within each orientation, reflective practices can be either domesticating—focusing
on societal over individual needs, or liberating—that is, focusing on the
individual over society. The authors then prescribe three questions that elicit
a teacher’s orientation. As opposed to many of the articles I have read, this
one does not advocate the value of one specific orientation; rather, the authors
suggest that all orientations are valuable and can be used effectively, depending
on the context. I found this article to be enlightening in that it presents
the entire range of orientations to reflective practice. The article would
be of specific interest to those exploring their own reflective practice and
Critical Reflection and Professional Development
Bierema, L.L. Moving beyond performance paradigms
in human resource development. In A. L. Wilson & E.
R. Hayes (Eds.), Handbook of adult and continuing education (pp. 278-293).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
article explores the impact of performance improvement within the field of
human resource development. The authors strongly advocates a move away from
HRD practices that focus strictly on goals related to corporate growth and
towards the end of human growth. She discusses how HRD has shifted allegiance
from humans to organizations through learning the
peformativity movement, the discourse of performance improvement,
questing credibility with management, and enhancing of power and control of
the organization. She then proposes making HRD more socially responsible by
challenging current assumptions via research, theory, and practice. I found
this article to be illuminating due to its advocacy of a completely different
approach to HRD than is currently practiced. While reading the article, I
found myself questioning the motivation for corporations to be interested
in ‘learning that affects the globe’ (p. 289) that would be the foundation
for movement towards the advocated-for position. This article is a good place
to start a discussion about the role of HRD within corporations.
Boud, D., & Walker,
Experience and learning: Reflection at work. Washington, DC: Department
of Education. Retrieved January 27, 2001,
from the ERIC database.
(ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED384696)
publication looks at learning from experience in the workplace and how to
increase learning through reflection. Reflection, the authors propose, needs
to take place during the learning event as well as afterwards for the event
to be most effective. They focus on understanding and accommodating the learning
milieu, which includes the learners’ previous experiences and their intent
for attending to the learning experience. The article finishes by providing
guidelines for the preparation for the experience and reflection afterwards.
Quite lengthy, and in need of more concrete examples, this publication is
useful for those seeking to encourage reflection-in-action.
Cheetham, G., & Chivers, G (1998). The reflective
(and competent) practitioner: A model of professional competence which seeks
to harmonize the reflective practitioner and competence-based approaches.
Journal of European Industrial Training, 22(2), 267-276.
authors attempt to synthesize the various models that explain how professionals
acquire and maintain their professional competences. They review a variety
of approaches including the reflective practice, functional competence, personal
competence, meta-competence and ethics approaches. They then describe the
provisional model, which the authors themselves developed in 1996. This model
integrates the others into a more holistic approach to professional competence.
In this article, they review the feedback of the model, based on 80 practitioners
from 20 different professions for feedback. The authors then revise the model
to incorporate feedback received. Though comprehensive, I found the
original and revised models confusing. The visual provided of the original
and revised models help to clarify a bit, but I needed to spend a great amount
of time analyzing the model. It appears comprehensive, though perhaps too
convoluted to provide a usable framework from which continuing education training
can be improved. This article would best serve those advanced in their understanding
of the various approaches discussed. It would also well serve those interested
in a theoretical framework that synthesizes knowledge about professional competence.
Cunliffe, A. (1999). Critical
pedagogy: Reflexive dialogical practice in management learning. In C. H. J.
Gilson, I. Arugulis, & H. Willmott
(Eds.), Proceedings of Critical Management Studies Conference, Manchester
School of Management, Management education and learning stream.
author makes the case for the integration of reflexivity in managerial practice
and training. The concepts of reflectivity and reflexivity were clearly defined
and differentiated. An interesting aspect of the article was the discussion
of learning as a result of being ‘struck’. Being struck opens the learners
to new ways of thinking and acting. I found this article a bit repetitive
and jargonized, even though I have read many articles of related content.
The version I read was also missing the figures referred to throughout the
article. This article is useful to those with a solid understanding of the
language of reflection who are seeking validation for the importance of reflexivity
in managerial education.
Daley, B. J. (2000). Learning in professional practice. In V. W. Mott & B. J.
Daley (Eds.), Charting a course for continuing
professional education: Reframing professional practice (pp. 33-41). New
Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, No. 86. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
article starts by summarizing much of the research relating to challenges
of transferring learning from the class to the workplace. The author then
proposes a model of professional development that integrates constructivist
and transformative approaches. The model also includes the context, rationale,
and intuitive approaches to developing professional practice. Well-written,
concise, and thoughtful, I found the model proposed to be holistic and realistic.
To further the value of the article, the author presents a number of concrete
techniques that would foster both a transformative and constructivist learning
R. M. (1999). Mindful practice. Journal of the
American Medical Association, 282(9), 833-839.
This article, written for medical practitioners,
makes the case for critical reflection as a component of practitioner training
and ongoing practice. Mindfulness in practice is seen as the link between
"evidence-based and relationship-centered care and helps to overcome
the limitations of both approaches." The author makes the case for mindfulness
as integral to the professional competence of physicians, even though the
research is largely personal and subjective. He further makes the case for
the integration of both explicit and implicit knowledge and then goes on to
classify different types of knowledge. An interesting aspect of the article
are well-articulated goals of mindful practice, “The goals of mindful practice
are to become more aware of one’s own mental processes, listen more attentively,
become flexible, and recognize bias and judgments, and thereby act with principles
and compassion." The author finishes the article by reviewing ways to
become more self-aware, and advocating for the application of self-awareness
to real-life situations faced by physicians. I found this an excellent article
in demonstrating how critical reflection can make direct impact of the action
Ferraro, J. M. (2000).
Reflective practice and professional development.
Washington, DC: Department of Education.
Retrieved January 21, 2002
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.
article synthesizes much of the current understanding related to reflective
practice and teacher education. Defining the concept, incorporating reflection
into practice, and the benefits of reflective practice are covered. This is
an excellent article to start off exploration into integrating reflective
practice into teacher education. As valuable as the article is, the references
are even more so. I used these as one of my starting points for discovering
some of the seminal writing related to this topic.
Marsick, V. J. (1988). Learning
in the workplace: The case for reflectivity and critical reflectivity, Adult
Education, 38(4), 187-98.
article questions the value of organizational training that focuses on strictly
behaviour and skills. This article, though a bit
dated, provides a solid argument in favour of integrating
Mezirow’s three domains of learning (instrumental,
dialogic, and self-reflective) into informal and formal learning in the workplace.
The author presents a new (at the time) paradigm of workplace learning that
incorporates all three of Mezirow’s domains of learning,
using both formal and informal learning. One troubling aspect of the article
was that formal training, in the paradigm presented, is limited to facilitating
instrumental learning. I found this article to be succinct and focused. It
would be valuable as a foundation for those interested in re-defining workplace
J., & Marsick, V. J. (1994). Becoming
critically reflective through action reflection learning. The emerging power of action inquiry technologies.
(pp. 17-30). New Directions for Adult and Continuing
Education, No. 63. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
article presents a framework for reflective learning in the workplace. It
is well written and concise. Action Reflection Learning (ARL) encourages workplace
learning, within a team, in the context of a real-time company project. The
focus on reflection is evident in their use of strategies that encourage problem
posing as opposed to problem solving. To a large extent this article is an
excellent synopsis of general principles and strategies for encouraging workplace
learning through reflection, though the term ‘Action Reflection Learning’
is trademarked. The fact that there seems to be little unique in their model
makes me question the need for the trademarking
of the term, other than marketing. Nonetheless, this article is a valuable
reference for those considering integrating reflection in workplace learning.
I would have like to see specific strategies (and examples thereof) used in
K. W., & Daudelin, M. W. (1999). The
role of reflection in managerial learning. Quorum: Westport, CT.
book combines two studies on reflection in managerial learning to provide
a holistic perspective of the role of reflection in the workplace. One of
the studies looks at how managers use reflection in the workplace, in the
midst of dealing with a problem or challenge. The other looks at techniques
that foster the development of reflective abilities, before or after dealing
with a problem or challenge in management settings. The book provides a good
overview of concepts and theories of reflection in the workplace and in education.
The rest of the book is devoted to descriptions and interpretation of the
studies. Based on the studies, the authors develop conceptual models of the
nature and development of reflection in management. I found this book somewhat
long-winded, but informative and relevant to my area of study. I would recommend
this book to those interested in exploring how reflection in the workplace
takes place and how it can be further encouraged.
Fostering Critical Reflection
Brookfield, S. D. (1987).
Being a skilled facilitator of critical thinking. In Developing
critical thinkers: Challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking
and acting (pp. 228-41). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
chapter provides a framework of the processes of critical thinking as well
as general guidelines for facilitating the development of critical thinking
skills as an adult educator. The guidelines presented reinforce many of the
principles of facilitation already encouraged by many adult educators. The
guidelines are too general for direct application. An interesting aspect of
the chapter is the employment of a metaphor for describing the process of
developing critical thinking skills. Finding commonalities between developing
critical thinking skills and having a good (learning) conversation is enlightening
and useful in understanding the individual and varied ways that critical thinking
can be developed. Reading this chapter is encouragement to read the entire
book, at least for those interested in further investigation in this topic
Brookfield, S. D. (1995).
Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco:
book provides an excellent overview of the concept of reflective practice
in teaching. The author also suggests concrete and practical strategies for
incorporating reflective practice into the daily life of teacher practitioners
and teacher training, based on his own experiences. It is clearly written
and well organized. After outlining the importance of becoming critically
reflective, the author provides strategies for developing self-reflective
skills. He then lays out a process for helping to enhance the critical reflective
skills of teachers in training, based on his own experience as a teacher-trainer.
This is an excellent guide as I develop my own reflective skills and integrate
reflection into my courses. I would recommend this book to everyone interested
in developing self-reflective skills as well as those looking to integrate
reflective practices into course design, content and facilitation.
Cann, A., & Seale, J.
K. (n.d.). How now mad cow: educating the reflective
practitioner. Retrieved January 21, 2002 from
authors of this site relate concepts of critical reflection to science education
at university. Short, succinct and clear, the authors compare the technical
rationale approach traditional to science education to a professional artistry
approach and a competency-based approach to a reflective practice approach.
They propose that perhaps at a undergraduate level,
critical reflection is less important than at a graduate level. The authors
then describe how they have adapted biology tutorials to incorporate reflective
practice. The best thing about this site is the point-by-point comparison
of the different approaches. I found this helpful and useful, as will others
grappling with the distinctions between a technical rationale and professional
Creme, P. (1999). A reflection
on the education of the ‘critical person’. Teaching in Higher Education,
authors puts into practice the theories and writings of Ronald Barnett. So
much of the article quotes and summarizes Barnett that I was left feeling
that I need to read Barnett, rather than this article. Creme
brings to life the theories on fostering a holistic view of the critical person
by integrating specific techniques into an interdisciplinary, seminar course
on Death that are meant to test out Barnett’s theories. The approaches used
by Creme are consistent with other readings and include journals,
and group discussions. Certainly the most useful part of this article is the
Barnett references, and the further validation of specific teaching approaches
that can foster critical reflection.
Daudelin, M. W.,
& Hall, D. T. (1997). Using reflection to leverage
learning. Training and Development.
(51)12, pp. 13-14.
authors describe a very concrete method for incorporating critical reflection
to enhance learning. Recommended for use after a meeting or conference, the
authors ask a series of reflective questions, working individually, then in
pairs, and finally in a large group discussion. The process they suggest takes
about 45 minutes, which seems to be quite long relative to the instrumental
learning that is generally focussed on in most conferences. They advocate
the use of this amount of time based on the desired impact of assuring that
information presented is remembered and used. I recommend this article as
a guide for the integration of critical reflection into conferences and meetings.
Imel, S. (1998). Teaching
critical reflection. Trends and issues alerts. Washington,
DC: Department of Education. Retrieved January 27, 2002
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.
This article is a short summary of the study of critical reflection.
The most useful component of this article is the extensive bibliography. The
author articulates the differences between reflection and critical reflection
and lists the four elements of critical reflection as described by Brookfield. She briefly discusses
the effect of integrating critical reflection in curricula based on Brookfield’s
“tales from the dark side”. The author then describes the support needed to
assist in the struggle students may experience engaging in critical reflection.
This article should be used only as a starting point in the investigation
of critical reflection.
Kember, D., Jones, A., Loke, A., McKay, J., Sinclair, K., Tse,
H., Webb, C., Wong, F., Wong, M., & Yeung, E.
(1998). Determining the level of reflective thinking
from students written journals using a coding scheme based on the works of
Mezirow. International Journal of Lifelong Learning,
article attempts to quantify levels of reflective thinking. The authors use
Mezirow’s levels of reflection to interpret journals of undergraduate
health-care students. Though they experience some difficulties in the interpretation,
the concept of empiricizing reflection in journals
is intriguing. A large portion of the article discusses Mezirow’s levels of reflective thinking, and for this alone,
the article is a worthwhile read. As I will attempt to evaluate the effectiveness
of incorporating reflective thinking in course design and delivery, this article
provides some direction as to how that might be accomplished.
Matthews, B. &
Jessel, J. (1998). Reflective and reflexive practice
in initial teacher education: a critical case study. Teaching in Higher
Education, (3)2, 231-243.
The authors start off by differentiating
between the terms ‘reflection’ and ‘reflexivity’. They then describe their
efforts to promote reflection and reflexivity with 40 students in a teacher
education program in the U.K. To provide opportunities
for reflection, students participated in a number of reflective assignments
while on teaching practice. Through the assessment of student written
work, and questionnaires completed, the authors determine that reflection
can be promoted and does enhance learning. This article well-articulates a
specific methodology for encouraging and assessing reflection, and thus would
make a good resource in the integration of reflection into higher education.
Meyer, S. (1992). Cultivating reflection-in-action in trainer development. Adult
Learning, (3)4, 16-31.
article looks at facilitating reflection-in-action skills in trainer development
through curriculum review and videotaping actual training sessions for review.
Meyer proposes that by using a variety of reflective questions trainers can
be encouraged to be more aware of their professional values and attitudes
and how these are expressed in action. The process of developing more reflective
practice is highly dependent on facilitator effectiveness. Very few qualitative
examples are given and explicit description of the process used was not detailed.
Though useful in general, this article was not specific enough to be used
as a guide in developing a program for cultivating reflection-in-action.
Morrison, K. (1996). Developing reflective practice in higher degree students through a
learning journal. Studies in higher education,
(21)3, 317- 330.
this article, the author looks at how learning journals are used to encourage
reflection in higher education modular programmes. The author lays out two
models of reflection, one based on Schön’s reflection-on-action
and reflection-in-action, and the other based on Habermas, much more political in nature. The article then
proceeds to lay out the ways in which the learning journal can be used to
help students become more reflective with both models of reflective practice.
The author completes the article with a discussion of how to evaluate learning
journals. I found this article quite useful for those with an understanding
of reflection and who want practical ways to structure the keeping of learning
journals to meet the goals of the two models discussed. I found this article
quite unique in its integration of two approaches to reflective practice and
thoughtful in the application of a learning journal to encourage reflection.
Newman, J. M. (1987).
Learning to teach by uncovering our assumptions.
Language Arts, (64)7, 727-737.
author uses critical incidents to uncover hidden assumptions in teaching.
Using a teacher-trainer class, which she facilitated, the author has students
come prepared with critical incident from their own teaching experiences to
help work through some of the tacit assumptions that guide teaching. Though
the incidents are related to grade school education, there is much that is
applicable to adult educators. Not organized by clear themes or types of assumptions,
the author demonstrates how to use critical incidents in the development of
critical reflection in the teachers in the course. This article is an interesting
read, if a bit shallow in process and content. Still, it is a good, quick
read that adds to knowledge about using critical incidents to further develop
Pavlovic, S., &
Friedland, B. (1997). Reflectivity in supervision and teaching. Washington, DC:
Department of Education. Retrieved February 21, 2001,
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction No.
this article, the authors describe a study of 7 preservice
teachers in the use of reflective practice in the development of lessons.
The techniques used included reflective pre- and post-tests, reflective conversations
with their supervisor, journals, videotapes of educational activities, and
a development plan. It appears that over the 12 weeks of the study, no significant
improvement in reflective practice was demonstrated. The article discusses
potential barriers to the development of reflective practice. The authors
end the article with suggestions related to the supervisory role in encouraging
reflective practice. I found this article somewhat unique in that they attempted
to quantify the reflectivity in each of the reflective activities used. Unfortunately,
I found there was not enough description (or examples) of how the quantification
was determined. I also wonder what conclusions can be drawn from this positivist
study, as only 7 students were involved. This article is somewhat advanced,
and would most benefit those who already have solid understanding of reflective
M. (1997). Towards a critical management pedagogy.
In J. Burgoyne & M Reynolds (Eds.), Management learning: Integrating
perspectives in theory and practice (pp. 312-328). Thousand Oaks, CA:
article develops the case for incorporating a critical reflection perspective
and strategies into business management education. Reynolds provides a well-rounded
overview of the characteristics and importance of a critical perspective as
well as concrete approaches and techniques that might be effective. He argues
that both content and methodology inform the development of critical reflection
skills. A practical, well-written article, the article serves those seeking
to do what the article proposes; bring to life a critical perspective for
business management education.
(1987). Educating the reflective practitioner.
In a speech to the American Educational Research Association.
Washington, DC. Retrieved
January 21, 2002 from
Schön synthesizes his theories related to reflection-in-action
and of his 1983 book, “Educating the Reflective Practitioner.” He uses his
knowledge of the perspective and approach of elementary schools to suggest
moving away from the technical rationality approach to one that is more based
on the real and varied ways that individuals learn which he calls “professional
artistry”. He clearly lays out what he believes the role of the teacher should
be. He also presents suggestions for making the transition from the perspective
of technical rationality to professional artistry. This speech, though clearly
directed at educators of children, is an excellent summary of the full-length
book of the same name, and is a much easier read. For those interested in
his perspective and concepts, but not interested in reading his entire book,
this is a great resource.
Stein, D. (2000). Myths
and realities no. 7: Teaching critical reflection. Washington, DC: Department
of Education. Retrieved January 21, 2002
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 445256).
precis summarizes the studies related to teaching
critical reflection. Succinct and clear, the author provides a balanced view
of the promise of teaching critical reflection. He reviews methods of teaching
critical reflection, levels of reflections, limitations, and the transfer
of critically reflective skills from the classroom to the ‘real world’. Of
most use are the references, which list up-to-date research and writings on
critical reflection. This is a good article with which to begin.
Taylor, E. W. (2000). Fostering transformative learning in the adult education classroom:
A review of the empirical studies. Washington, DC: Department of
Education. Retrieved Feb 11, 2003 from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.
literature review looks at the practice of fostering transformative learning
in the classroom, based on Mezirow’s concepts of
promoting rational discourse and critical reflection. The author identifies
several of the essential practices culled from research of over 35 articles.
He then details six themes related to fostering transformative learning, grouping
most of the studies reviewed therein. His synthesis of the literature is quite
relevant to those incorporating transformative practices in the classroom.
Missing in the article are concrete strategies for incorporating the themes
into classroom instruction.
Bullough, Jr. R. V. and Pinnegar,
S. (2001). Guidelines for quality in autobiographical forms
of self-study research. Educational Researcher, 30(3), 13-21.
article articulates guidelines that are intended to ensure that self-study
is a rigorous form of qualitative research. The authors start by identifying
four influences that have brought about the increasing acceptance of self-study
as a valid research method, firmly ensconcing self-study within the postmodern
tradition. They then lay out and describe 14 guidelines that help to ground
self-study in value and meaning for improving educational practices as well
as a form of research. While most of the guidelines are generic to any self-study,
they do include a section that is specific to correspondence, email, and recorded
conversations. What is unclear about this is that other forms of self-study
data, like journals and artifacts of practice are not specified. I was left
wondering what was so unique about the specified forms of data that required
special mention. This article is a great starting point for those who are
novice with this form of research.
Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (2000).
From field to field texts. In Narrative
Inquiry (pp. 80-91). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
chapter advocates for the use of field texts as a way to manage many of the
obstacles that a narrative inquirer may encounter. Obstacles described include
distance versus intimacy, how memory of an experience can lose details over
time, and the interpretive aspect of the reader in her current space and time,
versus the writer’s experience of meaning making. The authors strongly advocate
for the use and archiving of field texts. However, it is in the chapter afterwards
where field texts are defined and discussed, which seems to be poorly sequenced
for the novice inquirer.
Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (2000).
Thinking narratively: a case at
the boundaries. In Narrative Inquiry (pp.
21-32). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
chapter elicits differences between traditional and postmodern perspectives
as evidenced through a narrative approach. The narrative used to elicit the
differences was based on the authors’ work in revising Bloom’s Taxonomy. Clandinin and Connelly reflect on the tensions between those
of the revision team who put forward a ‘grand narrative’ and their own narrative-driven
approach. They articulate 5 key attributes of a narrative approach (temporality,
people, action, certainty, and context). I found this chapter to be an excellent
way to understand how narrative is firmly grounded in a postmodernist approach,
by contrasting it with more traditional approaches. The tensions identified
elicit key characteristics of narratives that seem theoretically grounded
and useful in application.
Day, C. (1999). Researching
teaching through reflective practice. In Researching teaching: Methodologies
and practice for understanding pedagogy (pp. 215-231). UK: Biddles
article outlines different types of critical reflection and the importance
to of reflection for teachers in the sustaining and building of quality teaching
practices and attitudes over the career of a teacher. The author then articulates
some of the personal, professional, and systemic obstacles to incorporating
and maintaining reflective practice. The article ends with a model of reflective
professionalism, embracing communities of practice and a partnership between
schools and teachers which might create opportunities for ongoing reflection.
I found that this article clearly outlined some of the challenges for creating
an environment that fosters critical reflection. Unfortunately, the solution
offered was very general and did not directly respond to challenges outlined.
Feldman, A. (2003). Validity and quality in self-study. Educational Researcher,
article is a response to Bullough and Pinnegar’s "Guidelines for quality in autobiographical forms
of self-study". Where the Bullough and Pinnegar article focuses on quality of self-study, Feldman
puts forth that the issue of validity in self-study as research must be dealt
with in order to be more widely accepted. The author makes the argument that
self-study as scholarly work is intended to have direct impact on teachers,
schools, and students, and therefore is both political and moral. And out
of this reasoning comes the needs to ensure that the research has validity.
He then goes on to list four suggestions for increasing the validity of self-study.
There seems to be a lot of background and making the argument for more validity,
but little attention paid to the suggestions the author makes for increasing
validity. I wish there had been more detail to his list and a few examples
to help make his point.
Imel, S., Kerka, S. & Wonacott, M. (2002).
Qualitative research in adult, career, and career-technical
education. Washington, DC: Department of Education. Retrieved February, 2003, from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED472366).
This comprehensive guide to qualitative research is extremely useful as a starting
point for those with a foundation in research methods. The authors briefly
describe qualitative research, provide guidelines for using qualitative methods,
and describe types of common methods, approaches, and examples. The guide
also includes annotated references and a glossary of related terms. There
is a tremendous amount of content provided, and I had to read it several times
to clearly understand the differences and uses of each method described. For
this reason, having a basic understanding of qualitative research is of great
benefit. This article is best used for further investigation into qualitative
methods of research.
Karpiak, I.E. (2003). The
ethnographic, the reflective and the uncanny. Journal of Transformative Education.
In this article, the author uses a hierarchical (psychoanalytic) model to better
illuminate the depth to which her students strive in writing their personal
autobiographies as a part of a graduate course. Using case studies of autobiographies
and follow-up interviews, Karpiak includes samples of student writing and her
interpretation applying to the writings of Britzman (1998), which include ethnographic,
reflective and uncanny. The value of this article is evident for those trying
to interpret the writings of their own and others, and for encouraging a deepening
of reflection in narratives.
Kuzma, F. I. (1994). Two
voices are better than one: A dialogic use of the dialogue journal. Washington,
DC: Department of Education. Retrieved February 6, 2002
from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.
This article is a review of the use of dialogic journals in considering
alternate viewpoints in any social discourse. Written in context of feminism
and acquaintance rape, the article discusses the advantages of such a journal.
Written in part as literature and in part as a ‘how-to’, the author clearly
sees many advantages to the use of a dialogic journal while reviewing few of
the disadvantages. The directions for writing a dialogic journal are clear and
concise and can act as a guide for someone attempting to write in this style
for the first time. The feminist focus of the article demonstrates concretely
how this type of journaling can offer a safe place from which to explore the
tension between objectivity and subjectivity, certainty and speculation.
Loughran, J. (2005). Researching
teaching about teaching: self-study of teacher education practices. Studying
Teacher Education, 1(1), 5-16.
inaugural article in the augural issue by the editor of the journal is a literature
review of self-study in the context of teacher educators. The author describes
the evolution of the methodology of self-study and goes on to discuss the methodology
in the context of teacher education. Loughran then
describes three cases, each longitudinal in nature, that used different approaches
to capture learning from self-study: eliciting axioms, tensions, and assertions
of practice. The article seems primarily geared towards those charged with preparing
novice teachers for k-12 classroom experiences, though lessons for faculty development
and ongoing improvements of teaching practices can be easily extrapolated.
Moon, J. (1999). Learning journals:
a handbook for academics, students and professional development. London:
handbook is a comprehensive guide to using learning journals to enhance learning.
Moon systematically describes the ways one can learn from journalling, purposes,
starting, monitoring, and assessing journals, and a review of styles of journals
for professional and personal development. This book also lays out different
formats of journals, and provides examples. Though a bit repetitive, there are
many importnat and relevant ideas and examples. I
especially appreciated the sections describing how critical reflection can be
enhanced with the use of learning journals. I would recommend this book to those
interested in using journalling in any formal learning setting.
The Qualitative Report.
(n.d). Retrieved March 17, 2003 from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/index.html.
online journal is dedicated to qualitative research. It has a huge collection
of articles and links to other qualitative research sites. I found the number
of links overwhelming. The journal articles were not annotated either, making
locating specific information nearly impossible, though I was able to locate
relevant articles using the internal search function. I found myself spending
over half a day searching the site for samples of written surveys.
Watson, J., Wilcox, S. (2000). Reading for understanding: methods of reflecting on practice. Reflective
Practitioner. 1(1). pp. 57-67.
article outlines two methods for reflecting on practice, one that based on an
experience that is problematic and another based on practices that are routine.
The authors present a three-step process for reflecting on either, that can
be described as a quick reading, zooming in, and zooming out. This process is
presented quite simply and illustrated with examples. It seems that though the
process is simple, carrying out the suggested steps would be provide
for a thorough and reflective understanding of one’s own practices. It would
seem, however, that following the process prescribed would be much more difficult
than presented, and the article would be even more helpful if it presented the
potential obstacles and challenges.
Cervero, R. M. (1988). Effective
Continuing Education for Professionals. San Francisco,
author attempts to identify elements of effective practice in continuing professional
education. These elements include ethical practices, concepts of professionals
as learners and participants, the institutional context of practice, and approaches
to program development and evaluation. He discusses each of these from a critical
viewpoint, which advocates the use of reflection in all continuing professional
education activities. Each topic covered describes traditional viewpoints and
then synthesizes them into a more holistic critical perspective. This is a good
overview of the conflicting approaches to adult education, though I found his
argument for a critical perspective a bit repetitive and obvious, given other
readings on continuing professional education. His perspective is clearly the
most accepted, at least in the writings on continuing professional education,
if not in practice. This book is well written and concise. It is a good resource
for those at the beginning of their knowledge building related to continuing
Cervero, R. M. (1992). Professional practice,
learning, and continuing education: An integrated perspective. International
Journal of Lifelong Education, (11)2, 91-101.
author presents a strong case for the integration of practical methods of instruction in the delivery of continuing professional
education. The author differentiates between declarative knowledge
(facts, generalizations, etc.) and procedural knowledge (contextual
and dynamic). In essence, the former is considered academic and the latter is
based on practice. He makes the case that traditonally,
continuing education focuses on declarative knowledge, while the primary need
of continuing education for professionals is procedural. The value of procedural
knowledge is that it is time-bound and situation specific and can only be acquired
by engaging in practice or simulations in practice. This article is a good starting
point for newcomers to the literature of continuing professional education as
the author clearly defines key terms and concepts. The author connects the realities
of continuing professional education to the need for reflective practices as
a key component for wise action. Although the article argues for what seems
to be common sense, it provides a clear rationale. For this reason alone, it
is an excellent article.
Cervero, R. M. (2000). Trends
and issues in continuing professional education. In V. W. Mott & B. J. Daley (Eds.), Charting a course for
continuing professional education: Reframing professional practice (pp.
3-12). New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education,
No. 86. San
author discusses trends and issues that currently face continuing professional
education. Most of the article is framed by the first trend discussed; that
the large majority of continuing education is offered at the workplace. Cervero is an advocate for practice-oriented continuing professional
education, as opposed to the knowledge and skills acquisition model that has
dominated the field for most of it existence. This clearly written and helpful
article presents a good overview of the role and opportunities afforded to continuing
professional education, as well as some of the pitfalls. An easy read and good
synopsis, this article would be beneficial to anyone interested in getting an
overview of continuing professional education.
Queeney, D. S. (2000), Continuing professional
education. In A. L. Wilson & E. R. Hayes (Eds.), Handbook
of adult and continuing education (pp.375-391). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Advocating “practice-oriented” Continuing Professional Education, this article, as evidenced
by the fact that it is a part of the Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education,
would seem to be ‘preaching to the converted’. As she defines it, practice-oriented
continuing professional education not only focuses on the technical knowledge
and skills needed to be an effective practitioner, but also on the need to continually
develop intra- and inter-professional teams, generalizable problem-solving skills
and a high degree of flexibility and adaptability. Given the emerging trend
to a more holistic approach of workplace learning, I cannot imagine too many
practitioners arguing against this approach. Queeney,
somewhat repetitively, puts forth the argument that practitioners must ensure
that that there is a demonstrable link between continuing professional education
and workplace practice. she puts forth strategies for successful continuing professional
education: effective partnerships, assessment and evaluation and a greater understanding
of the context of CPE. Unfortunately, she does present an incomplete history
of continuing professional education and a just a smattering of current challenges.
She discusses the importance of distance education as an emerging delivery vehicle,
without discussing other methodologies. This article would be most appropriate
for someone who has little idea of what continuing professional education is,
nor a solid grounding in contemporary adult education principles and practices.
Sheid, F.M., Caret, V.K., and Howell, S.L. (2001). Silent power: HRD and the management of learning in the workplace. In Power
and practice: Adult education and the struggle for knowledge and power in society
article uses a case study as a means to propose that educational practices in
organizations can become processes of domination and a means to manufacture
consent. Although this article piqued my interest, I was left wondering how
one uncovers the culture of power and domination within any organization. No
systematic approach to uncovering issues related to power was presented and
this left me wanting more.