This model for critical reflective practice was developed by C. Johns for nursing, but I think it is applicable across many disciplines. Critical reflection has the potential to transform one’s understanding of self and of one’s experience by thorough questioning and exploration. The practice of reflection can be conducted by individuals and groups of learners. I have made some changes to the original model emphasising values and ethical considerations, ensuring action as a result of the refection and taking out the specific references to patients.

1. Description of the experience

  • Phenomenon – describe the here and now experience, including the people involved
  • Causal – what essential factors contributed to this experience?
  • Context – what are the significant background factors to this experience? (Social, historical, cultural etc)
  • Clarifying – what are the key processes for reflection in this experience?

2. Reflection

  • What was I trying to achieve?
  • Why did I intervene as I did?
  • What were the consequences of my actions for myself and the others involved?
  • How did I feel about the experience when it was happening?
  • How did the other people feel about it?
  • How do I know how the others felt?

3. Influencing factors

  • What internal and external factors influence my decision making?
  • What values underpinned my actions?
  • What were any ethical considerations that influenced my actions?
  • What sources of knowledge did/should have influenced my decision making?

4. Evaluation

  • Could I have dealt with the situation better? What do I mean by “better”?
  • How would I do things differently next time?
  • What other choices did I have?
  • What would be the consequences of these other choices?

5. Learning

  • How do I now feel about this experience?
  • How have I made sense of this experience in the light of past experiences and future practice?
  • How has this experience changed my ways of knowing – empirics (scientific); ethics (moral knowledge); personal (self-awareness) and aesthetics (the art of what we do)?
  • Is there any action I need to take now?

The original model was developed in Johns, C. (1994) Nuances of reflection  Journal of Clinical Nursing 3 71-75. The version I have cited is from Michael Waring & Carol Evans (2015)  Understanding Pedagogy: Developing a critical approach to teaching and learning, Routledge, London.

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