Reflective Practices and the Research Process
The research process, whether it is for a master’s dissertation or a PhD, can be very challenging. Consequently, approaches that are able to support this process are much valued. Reflective practice is one such approach. It can encourage the development of analytical skills and critical thinking, help generate new insights and understanding, and afford a mechanism for capturing the decision-making process. Reflective writing can also represent a data source in itself.
Having introduced the concept of reflective practice and what it offers to the researcher, this session considers the various methods that can be used to facilitate such practice, including journal keeping and reflective discussion. It then considers the components of a reflective cycle - from description to interpretation and critical analysis, and on to the identification of points of learning and the drawing up on a set of actions or responses. Examples of how this process can be applied to the work of the researcher are also explored, with participants encouraged to draw upon their own study experiences. The concept of reflexivity, concerned with locating the researcher in the research process, will also be explored. The session will conclude with some recommendations on effective reflective practice and by encouraging participants to reflect upon the approach that best suits them.
By the end of the workshop, participants will have:
Gained an understanding of what reflective practice is
Acquired an appreciation of what this approach can bring to the research process
Explored methods of reflective practice
Considered examples of how reflective practice can support research work
Identified a method of reflective practice that best suites them.