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(SOLVED)Professional development as an occupational therapist

(SOLVED)Professional development as an occupational therapist

Professional development as an occupational therapist

The concept of learning reflection is not new. It can be traced back to Aristotle’s Ethics discussions of “practical judgment and moral action” (Grundy 1982 cited in Boud et al 2005a P11).

Dewy stated in 1933 that there are two types of “experiential processes” that lead to learning. The first process involved ‘trial and error,’ while the second involved’reflective activity,’ which included the ‘perception of relationships and connections between the parts of the experience.’ P12 (Boud et al 2005a). He described reflection as a learning loop, with the experience and the situation constantly feeding back and forth. Boud et al. (2005a).

Reflective practice was introduced in the 1980s and divided into three core components: ‘things that happen to a person, the reflective process that learning has occurred, and the action that was taken from this new perspective’ (Jasper 2003 p2). This is known as the experience-reflection-action cycle (ERA), and it is a method for understanding and developing learning from experience.

Kolb (1984, cited in Jasper 2003) developed a ‘experiential learning cycle,’ which has been proposed as the most effective method of learning from our experiences by connecting theory to practice:


Something that occurred to you

or something you’ve done

Reflection on Action –

In your mind, go over an event or experience.

Theorizing and developing concepts-

Recognizing what occurred

Kolb’s experiential learning cycle (Kolb, 1984; Jasper, 2003, p3)

As demonstrated, reflection is an essential component of the learning loop. Another important aspect of reflection is that the learning process continues so that the learner transitions from ‘Actor to Observer,’ from’specific involvement to general analytic detachment,’ creating a new experience to reflect and conceptualize at each stage (Moon 2005 p25).
It has been proposed that reflection can be classified into two types:’reflection-on-action’ and’reflection-in-action’ (Schon 1983). Reflection-in-action is the process of reflecting while performing an action, which occurs subconsciously, instinctively, and unconsciously, and is frequently observed in more experienced practitioners who can monitor and adapt their practice at the same time. Reflecting-on-action refers to thinking about an action after it has occurred, which is common in novice practitioners who need to take a step back and mentally go over the situation. 2004 (Finaly)

Gibbs reflective cycle is another type of reflection. It shares characteristics with all other reflection strategies/frameworks that have been developed. However, Gibbs’ cycle ends at the stage of action, so there is no way to close the cycle or move to reflective practice in terms of taking action (Jasper 2003). This is because Gibbs’ framework was founded in an educational context rather than a practice context:


(What occurred)

Plan of Action


(If it arose again, what were you thinking and feeling?)

Cycle of reflection



(What else could you have done that was both good and bad?)


(How do you interpret the situation?)

Gibbs cycle of reflection (1988, cited in Jasper 2003 p77)

Chris Johns’ structured reflection model was developed in the 1990s. It has undergone numerous revisions, with the 1994 version being the most user-friendly when starting out with reflective practice. According to Johns, the model:

‘contains a series of questions designed to tune the practitioner into her experiences in a structured and meaningful manner. It emerged as a natural progression through which practitioners explored their supervision experience’ (Jasper 2003 p84).

The goal of John’s model is to make us aware of the knowledge we use in our daily lives. This is taken as a core question, and it is explored further through five cue questions, which are further divided into detailed questions: ‘description of the experience, reflection, influencing factors, could I have handled the situation better, and learning’ (Jasper 2003 p85). Appendix one contains the framework.

Many people have defined reflection, Johns (2009 p3) defined reflection as ‘Learning through our everyday experiences towards realising ones vision of desirable practice as a lived reality. It is a critical and reflexive process of self-inquiry and transformation into the practitioner you want to be’.

Furthermore, Boud et al (2005a p18) suggested that ‘reflection is a form of response of the learner to experience’. Whereas experience is a person’s reaction to a situation or event, such as feelings, thoughts, or actions, and it ends at the time or immediately afterwards. In everyday life, the situation or event could be a course or an unplanned reason. It could be influenced by something external or internal, or it could develop as a result of discomfort.

Reid (1993, p305) defines reflection as “a process of reviewing a practice experience in order to describe, analyze, evaluate, and thus inform learning about practice.”

Reflecting on practice has numerous advantages. According to Johns (2009, p15), the positive uses of reflection ‘encourages the expression, acceptance, and understanding of feelings’. He suggests that negative feelings can be examined and transformed into positive ones in order to better understand future situations and learn new ways to respond. Furthermore, he claims that reflection is’empowering,’ which will eventually lead to desirable practice.

Boud et al (2005b p11) suggested that In the case of reflecting on learning, firstly only ‘learners themselves can learn and only they can reflect on their own experiences’. According to Boud et al., teachers can facilitate reflection but only have access to thoughts and feelings based on what individuals choose to reveal about themselves. As a result, the learner has complete control.
Second, reflection is defined as a “purposeful activity directed toward a goal,” and finally, the reflective process in which feelings and thoughts are interconnected and interactive. Negative emotions can be significant barriers to learning’. Positive emotions and feelings can help the learning process by keeping the learner focused and providing a stimulus for new learning. p11 (Boud et al 2005b)

Reflection can be used to support occupational therapy (O.T) principles and values, continuous professional development (C.P.D), ethical, legal, and professional codes of conduct/standards of practice, and it has been proposed as a “core process competent, essential to O.T practice” (Bossers et al 1999 p116).

The benefits of reflective practice are incorporated into the learning strategies of the College of Occupational Therapists (McClure 2004). Reflection aids professional practice, and the importance of this is demonstrated in documents such as ‘A Vision for the Future’ (Department of Health 1993). This is also demonstrated by the Professional Standards of Practice (2007), which states that O.Ts must maintain high levels of knowledge, skills, and behavior competence (standard 4 – professional development and lifelong learning and standard 1 – service quality and governance)

Lifelong learning and professional competence (standards 5.4 and 5.1) state that O.Ts must maintain high standards of knowledge, skills, and behavior while also being responsible for maintaining and developing their personal and professional competence. (Occupational Therapy College, 2005).

Professional development as an occupational therapist

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