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An Overview – Reflective Practice

Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one’s actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. According to one definition it involves “paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively. This leads to developmental insight”. A key rationale for reflective practice is that experience alone does not necessarily lead to learning; deliberate reflection on experience is essential.

Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where people learn from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal learning or knowledge transfer. It may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement. It is also an important way to bring together theory and practice; through reflection a person is able to see and label forms of thought and theory within the context of his or her work. A person who reflects throughout his or her practice is not just looking back on past actions and events, but is taking a conscious look at emotions, experiences, actions, and responses, and using that information to add to his or her existing knowledge base and reach a higher level of understanding.

There isn’t a lead body for ‘Reflective Practice’, but please find below a link to a paper on ‘Reflective practice in health care and how to reflect effectively’.

Other evidence sources:

Reflective practice in health care and how to reflect effectively

Paper published by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Please see Reflective Practice Evidence Source 1 – US National Library of Medicine Study link in resources to access the full paper.