A reflective practice is one that provides the learner with a process, framework or support tools to enhance learning through reflection. This reflection may be individual and private (such as when journaling), verbal and undertaken with one other person (as in a ‘buddy’ role) or in a group (as in an action learning set). A reflective practice enables a new level of learning.
Transformational learning practice emphasizes meaning making based on discourse and critical reflection. Such reflective learning depends on discovering and challenging one’s own and others’ assumptions as a step in establishing new meaning perspectives. These new perspectives can lead to more than just reframes of current ideas; they foster qualitatively more complex ways of understanding and knowing (Kegan 2000, cited in Taylor 2006, p. 79).
Three of the key reflective practices that we have incorporated into our Building Leadership Capital program are action learning, the establishment of a ‘buddy’ system and the use of learning journals. In this paper we outline the role of reflective practice in learning and professional development, and the way the key practices used in the program foster reflective thinking.