Fit for Practice: How can we Help? Pedagogic Reflections
This paper is an active reflection on a pedagogic process of facilitating students’ ability to link theory to practice in two academic programmes, namely social work and health care. In both areas of study and practice it is essential that students are enabled to link theory to practice and learn how to reflect on their practice because they must demonstrate this aptitude as part of their training and registration process and subsequently as part of their continuing professional development. We reflect within the paper on our attempts to develop and facilitate a theory/practice process with students, with the broader aim that the students’ reflections would in time become a reflexive process. We argue that this would enable them to develop into students and practitioners able to challenge established practices and preconceived ideas. Our attempts to develop students’ ability to link theory to practice and their reflexive abilities were based on the use of two learning tools. We had each, independently, developed learning tools that took students through a number of ‘steps’ and required consideration of ‘theory-to-practice’ and ‘reflection’. We focus on a discussion of that process and of the tools utilized in the context of teaching and learning, drawing on theories of reflective practice. Our findings add to the small, but growing body of literature which has examined reflection and the use of tools to aid reflection and reported a positive impact on learning.
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