Reflective Practice in Applied Learning
conference contributionposted on 25.03.2022, 08:58 by Xiaorong Mary ChenXiaorong Mary Chen, Dora Howes
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is a university founded on an applied learning philosophy. The application of learning is the trademark of all programmes at SIT. For the post registration nurses attending the SIT-UofG Bachelor of Science with Honours in Nursing programme , reflective thinking is integrated into many modules to help build their self-awareness and professional identity through reflection. It is a nurse’s responsibility to reflect on practice to develop knowledge-based practice and be an accountable practitioner (NMC, 2018; SNB, 2011).
Reflective practice is an important part of the learning process to allow students to gain a better understanding of knowledge that is consolidated from practice. Students are guided through a critical understanding of different reflective models such as Gibbs (1988), Donald Schön (1983), Borton (1969) and Driscoll (1994). The skills for reflection are developed through self-awareness, description, critical analysis and synthesis, and evaluation (Bulman, 2013; Johns, 2009). By reflecting on clinical practice experiences, the nursing students examined their professional identity, practices and emotions to find their professional voice (Lawrence-Wilkes and Ashmore, 2014). The findings presented in this poster detail the analysis of 46 students’ group projects and 30 individual essays (>10% of 265 students) from 2017 to 2020 by two faculty members. Both were involved in teaching reflective thinking and summarising the student’s narratives into main themes.
Through students’ reflection on nursing practices in Singapore and their overseas exposure in Glasgow, a heightened level of reflective and critical thinking emerged. Aspects of patient care, clinical practice, self-awareness, professional growth and nursing education were reflected upon by the students. From rigorous literature reviews, the students compared nursing practice globally and contrasted it with the local context. Gaps were identified in both education and practice. Suggestions for improvement included the implementation of guided reflective practice for nursing students during their clinical placement to enhance their learning and experience, and the need for clinical teachers to build their knowledge on reflection to implement reflective practice successfully. The students’ learning outcomes were particularly encouraging and confirmed the need to develop degree prepared nurses who are able to think reflectively and critically. Through reflective learning and the guided processes of reflection, the faculty team helped students to integrate their learning into clinical practice.
Reflective thinking and practice is important in students’ applied learning journeys and their future professional careers. The intentional integration of reflective thinking into students’ learning and practice can develop their reflective skills. The sharing of such teaching and learning experiences can encourage professionals of other specialties to implement reflective practice, as through reflective practice, professionals develop their professional knowledge and identity.