Glossary and references

Glossary of terms

Experiential learning
the idea of learning as a process whereby a professional reflects on practice experience to construct and reconstruct understanding and skills.
Experiential learning cycle
a model of experiential learning (usually associated with the work of David Kolb) represented in a four stage cycle beginning with concrete experience followed by reflection, followed by abstract conceptualisation, followed by active experimentation.
"... a conscious activity in which we engage to explore our experiences and develop new understandings and conceptualisations."(Boud 1987)
sometimes described as 'thinking on our feet', it is the process that allows professionals to reshape the situation or activity on which they are working while it is unfolding. Schon suggests that, by "reflecting–in–action", professionals often reflect on unexpected phenomena before them and conduct 'experiments' which serve to generate both a new understanding of the phenomenon and a change in the situation.
involves reflecting on an experience, situation or phenomenon after it has occurred. When professionals "reflect–on–action" they explore what happened in that particular situation, why they acted as they did, whether they could have acted differently, and so on. It is often associated with reflective writing in which professionals reflect on their experiences and examine alternative ways to improve their practice.
Reflective practice
the concept of constantly updating knowledge and skill through a process of structured reflection on practice.
Reflective practitioner
a professional who is committed to practicing the concept of reflective practice.
Reflective writing
a form of writing about practice used to engender reflection and analysis with the aim of professional development and learning. By committing reflections to paper the learner can stand back from them and create another opportunity to reconstruct knowledge, awareness and practice.