Joyce, Pauline (2012) CROSSING THE THRESHOLD INTO REFLECTIVE PRACTICE. In: National Academy’s Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference. Threshold Concepts: from personal practice to communities of practice, 2012, June 28 - 29 2012, Trinity College Dublin., Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


This paper will present the experiences of academics in one institution of progressing reflective practice across all postgraduate programmes. The struggle in encouraging health professionals to write reflections as part of their Personal Development Plans and e-portfolios is discussed. Some of the challenges encountered in assessing reflective practice are presented and a framework for grading reflections is outlined. The benefits of encouraging reflection in each module are balanced against the criticisms of a modular outcomes-based curricular approach. In particular the paper will focus on reflective practice under 4 curriculum design principles outlined by Land et al (2005): Jewels in the curriculum; listening for understanding; a holding environment for the toleration of confusion; and recursiveness and excursiveness. The pursuit of reflective practice from the start of a programme right through to the end invites the health professional to enter a liminal space, making sense of their experience in the context of evidence-based literature and best practice research. Once this journey starts the paper will argue that reflective practice has the potential to be transformative, irreversible, integrative, bounded and will involve further troublesome knowledge. Finally, issues of confidentiality and anonymity are discussed as ongoing challenges in using reflection for teaching and learning activities.

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