Critical reflection is a process (and theory) for unearthing individually held social assumptions in order to make changes in the social world. Reflection is more than just thinking about an experience. It involves a deeper look at the premises on which thinking, actions, and emotions are based (Fook & Gardner, 2007, p.14). This process of reflection enables the person to deconstruct some of the assumptions and make connections between these assumptions and their beliefs.
Please note that critical reflection must be an analysis; it examines meaning and relationships.
To begin with:
Think about a critical incident in your life (an incident which in your view has had a profound effect on you) and write the incident you wish to reflect upon.
In writing be aware of the choices you make in how you word your experience, which aspects you decide to include and emphasise, be aware of the emotions you are experiencing as you re-visit this incident, what are the gaps, biases and themes that you notice (process of deconstruction).
Who might be the potential people involved in the incident or affected by it (either directly or indirectly). What is your position in relation to these people?
What was your interpretation of the incident then? Whose perspectives are represented in writing this incident?
What knowledge or theory has informed your interpretation? (can be both formal or informal knowledge).
What assumptions and personal values informed your interpretation of the incident?
Thinking about this incident today what is your interpretation of the incident? What new learning have you gained/or not gained from it? How might you be better or worse as a result of the incident? (process of reconstruction).
What steps can you put in place to deal with the incident differently today?
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