Libraries, the universe and everything

Thing 5 – Reflective practice
July 18, 2011, 12:30
Filed under: cpd23

My excuse for this Thing is that I am constitutionally unsuited to reflection, and I tend to operate in a ‘do the work, move on to the next thing’ kind of way. I try very hard not to replicate mistakes, but that’s normally about as far as I go.

That said, I have recently been involved with all sorts of CPD-type activities, and I’m trying very hard not to let lessons learned pass me by. After training courses I consider which elements I can bring into my work, and take steps to put them in place. Usually these are to do with my own working style or practice, so are fairly easy to implement, although occasionally I mention specific relevant points to colleagues, or make suggestions in our team meetings. I also have a list of things I’m determined to incorporate into projects I’m working on. This doesn’t really feel like reflection though, more like a sensible way to ensure that I get maximum value out of the time and money invested in training courses or other activities.

In terms of the various strategies/systems out there, the “What, so what, now what” approach is catchy and easy to remember, and I really like Katie’s more detailed list of points to consider in a reflective analysis too. We’re just coming up to our annual appraisals at work, so this is a really good time to be thinking about reflecting, and I’m considering how I can build reflection into my regular working practice. I still have a feeling that it works best when applied to specific projects/courses/events, but perhaps I can (and should) use it more generally too – maybe taking 20 minutes on a Friday afternoon to reflect on the week just passed would be a good place for me to start…

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