Reflection is not a trivial process

6th May 2005 at 01:00
Dennis Hayes appears to claim that reflective practice and critical thinking are mutually exclusive. (Viewpoint, FE Focus April 29).

The Institute for Learning, which is the professional body for practitioners across the whole learning and skills sector, believes the opposite. It is precisely the application of critical thinking, when reflecting on practice, that leads to innovative thought, the testing of new ideas and solutions and a consequent improvement in teaching skills.

It will be of concern to many in our sector that he dismisses as "trivia" the essential process of analysing how a learning programme has been delivered and how students responded.

Review and analysis of actual experience through engaging with a developing knowledge base, peer discussion and personal reflection must form the basis for practical skills development.

We look forward to welcoming Dennis as a member as soon as he feels able to embrace this concept. In so doing he will be joining the growing number of applications we are receiving from adult and community learning and work-based learning as well as from further education.

Monica Deasy


Institute for Learning

32 Farringdon Street

London EC4

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