Facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education

By Anne Brockbank; Ian McGill | Go to book overview

Part 2
Facilitating Learning and
Reflective Practice

In Part 2 we convey how reflective practice can be developed, facilitated and utilized by students and staff in enhancing student learning.

In Chapter 6 we address some of the major issues that are the subject of considerable difference in higher education circles, both in terms of prescriptions about what should be the approach towards teaching and learning and some of the realities of current practice. We include an overview of how new technologies may be used to support relective learning. We move on in Chapters 7 and 8 to offer a detailed approach to reflective practice through reflective dialogue for both teachers and learners. Four structured applications for teachers provide a basis for incorporating reflective dialogue into practice, with colleagues. Teachers may wish to embark directly on reflective dialogue with student learners and therefore use at the outset the framework suggested in Chapter 8. Obviously, the frameworks suggested in these chapters can be modified.

We consider the rationale for facilitation in higher education in Chapter 9, exploring how and why facilitative methods foster learning relationships through intentional dialogue. We discuss the difficulties and benefits of adopting facilitative methods while maintaining subject expertise. In Chapters 10 and 11 we set out the detailed process of facilitation, what a facilitator actually does, and how to enable reflective learning.

To achieve clarity of exposition within the confines of a book, we have, particularly in Chapters 7 and 8, endeavoured to be clear in describing the unfolding possibilities for reflective dialogue that can create the conditions for reflective learning. An important proviso is necessary, which we do allude to in the text. Learning is often a messy process. Teachers and learners may come to this approach to learning with a deal of scepticism and anxiety as well as optimism. Critically reflective learning is necessarily disturbing as well as potentially exciting and exacting. These chapters aim to provide a relatively coherent structure within which to embark on the journey where the relationship between teachers and learners is different from that which may prevail for transmission.

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