Journal Article

There's No Such Thing As Reflection


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 29, issue 4, pages 513-527
Published in print August 1999 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online August 1999 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
There's No Such Thing As Reflection

Show Summary Details



Despite the enormous proliferation of literature on the nature and practice of reflection, still little is agreed about what it is, and that which is asserted is confusing and contradictory. Even the work of Donald Schˇn, which lies behind the debate on reflective practice in the professions, is problematic. Not only do Schˇn's own ideas tend to lack practical application to social work and to have been superseded by later theorists, but the entire œuvre to date leaves more questions than answers. Yet social work education has become steeped in demands that students should demonstrate reflection in practice as a learning outcome. The dangér this poses to vulnerable learners in the assessment relationship, when assessors' own conceptions of reflection may be poorly formed and may not match those of their students, is worryingly likely to compound the imbalance of power between them. It is arguable whether social work programmes should be assessing reflection at all. Until such time as we can state more clearly what it is, we may have to accept that there is no theory of reflection that can be adequately assessed.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.