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.

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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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