Reflecting on practice: a conversation

Anne Pirrie, Karen McNee (Contributor)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

2 Citations (Scopus)


As Gillies (2016) points out, the concept of reflective practice is firmly entrenched within the teaching profession. Yet there is little consensus about what the term means, and still less about how students and newly qualified teachers may be encouraged to engage in it in a manner that transcends narrow instrumentalism. It has been suggested that one of the perceived strengths of reflective practice is that it 'places 'thoughtful action' at the heart of teaching and so elevates the notion of professional judgement' (Gillies, 2016: 150). What is the scope for reflective practice in educational environments dominated by the instrumentality of technical rationalism? How does it 'measure up' in an era when perceived levels of 'student satisfaction' are strong determinants of status and ranking in league tables? How do educators and students navigate the dichotomies between competing demands on these two rather different agendas?

This presentation eschews the 'speechifying' that Buber identified as a characteristic of conversation. Rather, it will take the form of a dialogue between a university teacher and a recent graduate who is now in her induction year. In respect of method, the exchange will be conducted in the spirit identified by Arendt (1968): 'Gladness, not sadness, is talkative, and truly human dialogue differs from mere talk or even discussion in that it is entirely permeated by pleasure in the other person and what he says. It is tuned to the key of gladness ... ' The findings will emerge in the course of our conversation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017
EventScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference : Educational Futures in a Changing Landscape: Bridging Boundaries or "Mind the Gap"? - University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017


ConferenceScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleSERA Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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