Personal Development

What is Reflective Practice?

Reflective practice is all about meta-cognition, or thinking about your thoughts. Thinking about your own actions and thoughts in this way not only helps you change your behaviour, it gives you insights into your own learning and communication styles, and allows you to identify your personal strengths and weaknesses.

VBase is here to help you reflect on your volunteering experience, to help you identify what you've been learning and what opportunities you could take up next!

How do I do Reflective Practice?

We encourage students to take advantage of the VBase logging tools to start their reflective practice, and to make an appointment with a VBase Co-ordinator to help develop your log on talk about your experiences.

Rolfe et al (2001) developed probably the simplest modeul of relfective practice:

  1. What? - What happened?
  2. So what? - What does it mean?
  3. Now what? - What needs to happen next?

Slighty more in depth, Gibbs' Reflective Cycle model (1988) contains the following elements:

  1. Description - What happened?
  2. Feelings - What were you thinking and feeling?
  3. Evaluation - What was good and bad about the experience?
  4. Analysis - What sense can you make of the situation?
  5. Conclusion - What else could you have done?
  6. Action Plan - If it arose again what would you do?

Lawrence-Wilkes developed the REFLECT model (2014) below as a mnemonic device:

Finding out more

There are a lot of books and articles which deal with reflective practice, and the University library is a great place to start to explore this further. The models referenced above can be found in the following journal articles:

Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. and Jasper, M. (2001). Critical Reflection in Nursing and the Helping Professions: a User's Guide. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Lawrence-Wilkes, L., and Ashmore, L., (2014) The Reflective Practitioner in Professional Education, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hannah Markley
VP Reps and Volunteers
VP Reps and Volunteers

Hannah is ENSA’s Vice President Reps & Volunteers. If you need any information or advice about anything relating to being a rep, campaigns or volunteering, contact Hannah and she will tell you all you need to know.

Email Hannah

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