Why Reflective Practice?
During your studies at Curtin you may be required to write weekly reflections and undertake reflective assignments.
Why do your lecturers and tutors want you to develop this skill?
Reflective practice in its various forms is a way for you to discover and evaluate what you are learning and demonstrates to your lecturers/tutors how you are actively engaged in your study.
Learning to reflect helps you to consolidate what you are learning and develops your thinking and writing skills.
Being able to reflect enables you to make connections between:
- The knowledge you bring with you as a person and the new kinds of knowledge you are acquiring at Curtin as a student
- The practical, hands-on aspects of your discipline and the theoretical concepts you are studying
- The personal experiences you bring with you and the contents (theory and professional practice) prescribed in your unit/course work.
Reflective writing helps you to develop the skills to think critically — to ponder and consider the 5 W questions:
WHY, countered by HOW (this is covered in the next section: What is Reflective Practice?).
It clarifies your thinking by helping you to identify questions and drawing your attention to what you don’t know and have yet to discover.
It enables you to learn from any mistakes you make and to investigate what works and what doesn’t for you personally.
In university you are required to be an active, independent learner as opposed to a passive learner. Reflective practice helps you to not only cultivate the ability to ask questions but to critically question your own accumulated knowledge and personal beliefs and assumptions. That is, it shows you how your beliefs and past experiences colour your worldview and your studies. It helps you to see the power relations that exist in our society and the ways in which we are situated in social structures.
Reflecting on one’s behaviour can highlight what we project onto other people. Through developing these skills you will become an active reflective thinker not just for work but also as part of your life’s journey.
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