Journal Article

Critical Reflection to Identify Gaps between Espoused Theory and Theory-in-Use

Riki Savaya and Fiona Gardner

in Social Work

Published on behalf of National Association of Social Workers

Volume 57, issue 2, pages 145-154
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0037-8046
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1545-6846 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sw/sws037
Critical Reflection to Identify Gaps between Espoused Theory and Theory-in-Use

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Critical reflection (CR) is a process by which one may identify the assumptions governing one's actions, question them, and develop alternative behaviors. This article presents two cases that demonstrate the use of CR to raise social workers' awareness of gaps between what Schon and Argryis term social workers’ “espoused theories” and the “theories-in-use” that actually guide social workers’ practice and to help them to develop more effective models of practice based on the understanding they gain. With this, the cases also show that CR can be a painful, even wrenching, process, in which practitioners confront previously unacknowledged qualities or tendencies in themselves that can evoke strong feelings.

Keywords: critical reflection; decision making; dilemmas; practitioners

Journal Article.  6657 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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