Reflection is a conversation

I like the ideas explored in “The Reflective Practitioner” that reflection is like a conversation with the situation. Here are some thoughts and notes for the future:

  • What is the problem and how have I framed it?
  • Can I solve the problem I have set?
  • Do I like what I get when I solve this problem?
  • In solving this problem in this way made the situation coherent?
  • have I made it congruent with my fundamental theories and values?
  • Have I kept my enquiry moving?

Experienced practitioners work by setting problems in a way they think they can solve.

I’ll qualify that ‘solve’. I mean setting a problem that helps them understand and change the situation. Practitioners don’t necessarily need to know if the new problem will find a final result when they start.

The key point is  the way they set it out and frame the question. Their approach sets a pattern to the enquiry. A pattern in which they have confidence they’ll get to some type of answer.

Once the shape can be seen, questioning how much I like what is emerging is a very powerful idea.  It makes me acknowledge that many answers may be possible. That there is always going to be a judgement call based on my theories and values.

Previously I’d seen unintentional consequences as a failure. Its really  powerful to see them as a way of listening to the situation. A new starting point.  A way to evaluate some assumptions. Even a way to stay curious about the investigation.

Each  try I learn more. In working through to a workable answer I learn more about what my own values are. I gain a better understanding of what matters to me, and to others I’m working with along the way.

Checking at the end if I kept enquiry moving is such a good idea.  I want to be able to give back something that can be used as a new starting point. If I can’t do that it may be a sign that the answer is too fragile  or just hasn’t been explored enough.


East Lothian dad. Likes bad jokes and comic songs. Mostly tired, tries to stay cheerful. Thinks space is awesome. Would like to write more code and better docs.

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