The intention of this written essay is to demonstrate an understanding of my
views on the art and science of reflection and the issues surrounding
reflective practice. It is based on a significant incident from my own area of
clinical practice as a state registered paramedic within the U.K.
There is a discussion appraising the concept of reflection both generally, and
in my particular area of practice. This is followed by an analysis of the incident
using The What ? Model of Structured reflection suggested by Driscoll (2000).
A rationale is given for the selection of this particular incident and also for the
selection of the chosen model as a framework.
It will show how the model has been used to reflect on the incident, what has
been learnt, and the outcome on both current and future practice.
Reflection is an active process of witnessing one’s own experience so that we
can take a closer look at it. It has its foundations in the discipline of
experiential learning. Dewey (1939 cited in Rolfe, Freshwater, & Jasper 2001)
claimed that we learn by doing, and realising what came of what we did.
“Reflective practice is something more than thoughtful practice. It is that form
of practice which seeks to problematise many situations of professional
performance so that they can become potential learning situations and so the
practitioners can continue to learn, grow and develop in and through their
practice” Jarvis P. (1992) pp174 -181.
Johns, C (2000a) pg 34, describes reflection as a window through which the
practitioner can view and focus self within the context of his own lived
experience in ways that enable him to confront, understand and work towards
resolving the contradictions within his practice between what is desirable and
All professionals experience physical, “hands on” , doing parts of their roles,
but unless they search for the knowledge that comes from realising what
came of what they did, then the standard of their practice can stand still. In
other words if you always do what you have always done you will always get
what you have always got.
Roth (1989) summarized the basic elements of a reflective process as follows,
Keeping an open mind about what, and how we do things.
Awareness of what, why and how we do things.
Questioning what, why and how we do things.
Asking what, why and how other people do things.
Generating choices, options and possibilities.
Comparing and contrasting results.
Seeking to understand underlying mechanisms and rationales.
Viewing our activities and results from various perspectives.
Asking “What if …..?”
Seeking feedback and other people’s ideas and viewpoints.
Using prescriptive (advice) models only when carefully adapted to the
Analysing, synthesising and testing.
Searching for, identifying and...