|Dewey |Schön |Kolb |Theory development over time|


Reflective practice is a fairly new idea, which only really emerged in the early 1980s with Schön’s (1983) notion of ‘reflection-in-action' and ‘reflection-on-action’, a concept that built on Dewey’s original “reflective thought” theory . Since the 1980s the importance of professional and self reflective skills has exposed the valuable side of theory working in practice.

When ‘…we think and act, questions arise that cannot be
answered in the present. The space afforded by recording
and conversation with [our self and] our peers allows us …
[the] …space in the present and the promise of space in
the future [to reflective]. (Smith 1994, p150)

John Dewey

Originally, "reflective thought" was introduced by John Dewey (1859 - 1952) in 1910 in "How We Think". The fundamental point of Dewey's work relates to the idea that improved learning arises from the process of reflection. John Dewey's investigation into thinking and reflection has greatly influenced developed models by writers such as Donald Schön and alike.
(Smith, 1994; Moon, 1999)

Donald Schön

Donald Schön had a major influence in promoting Dewey’s ideas on reflection with the publication of ‘The Reflective Practitioner’ (1983) and the notion of ‘reflection-in-action' (during an action) and ‘reflection-on-action’ (once the action is completed).
(Smith, 1994; Moon, 1999)

David A. Kolb

David A. Kolb along with Roger Fry, is credited with developing the experimental learning circle, a model with four elements; concrete experience, observation and reflection, the formation of abstract concepts and testing new learning. The idea being that the learning process can begin at any one of the four points.
(Smith, 1994; Moon, 1999)

Theory development over time

The process of reflective thinking
Proponent Theme Process
Dewey (1933) Reflective thinking process An experience
Spontaneous interpretation of the experience
Naming the problem9s) or the question(s) that arise out of the experience
Generating possible explanations for the problem(s) or question(s) posed
Ramifying the explanations into full blown hypotheses
Experimenting or testing the selected hypothese
Schön (1987) Reflective thinking approach Reflection-in-action
Ploblematic situations
Frame/reframe the problem
Review consequences/implementation
Pugach and Johnson (1990) A peer collaboration framework Reframing through clarifying questions
Problem summarisation
Generation and prediction
Evaluation and reconsideration
Gagatsis and Patronis (1990) Progression of reflective thinking Initial Thoughts
Reflecting on the subject and trying to understand
Discovery and (partial) understanding
Full awareness
Elby and Kujawa (1994) A model of reflective thinking Observing
Gathering data
Considering moral principles
making judgement
Considering strategies
Lee (2000) Reflective thinking process Problem context/episode
Problem definition/reframing
Seeking possible solution
Rodgers (2002) Reorganising Dewey’s phases Presence to experinec
Description of experience
Analysis of experience
Intelligent action/experimentation
(Lee, 2005, p701, table 1)

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