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.