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Reflective Practice

A guide to reflective writing

 At some point in your career, you may have been asked to write reflectively in the form of a reflective account.

This can be as part of evidence of post-registration learning, or as evidence towards an SVQ unit. You may also be encouraged to write about your work practice following a learning event, or as part of your continuous professional development (CPD).

We may have ideas of what it means to reflect, and here are some definitions. 

"Serious thought or consideration..." Oxford English Dictionary, 2006.

"Quiet thought or contemplation..." Collins Free Dictionary, 2003 

So how does reflection apply to our work practice?

 One theory suggest it is the ‘capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning..." (Schon 1983:102-104)

Reflecting on what we have learned can help us contemplate how our work practice and experience can enable change and improvement in the future.  

A story which illustrates this principle is about an individual who comes to visit a monk, seeking to achieve enlightenment.


The monk hands them a cup and begins to pour tea into it. As the cup fills, the tea splashes out, soaking their feet and the floor.  They ask the monk what he thinks he’s doing.

The monk replies that this cup is just like the mind. Because it is already filled with their own ideas, there is no room for anything more unless it is emptied first.



  We all learn differently, and reflective practice takes….well…practice!


The link here will take you to a resource published by Angus College, and there are some examples of how to use evidence in reflective writing, reflective vocabulary, and a guide on how to write reflective essays.