Professional Experience and the Investigative Imagination: The Art of Reflective Writing

Professional Experience and the Investigative Imagination: The Art of Reflective Writing

Professional Experience and the Investigative Imagination: The Art of Reflective Writing

Professional Experience and the Investigative Imagination: The Art of Reflective Writing

Synopsis

The Art of Professional Reflection explains how creative writing can be used successfully in the context of professional education. It argues that there is a role for this imaginative style in an area that has traditionally favored a more distance approach to reporting on the professional experience. This book makes available a new and more broadly based approach to the process of professional reflection.

Excerpt

The writing of this book has been a combination of, and alternation between, individual and collective work on the part of the three authors.

The initial idea for story-writing workshops as a basis for professional reflection first occurred to one of us (Richard Winter) outside a restaurant in Greenwich one evening in 1985. From then on he introduced story-writing into a number of professional inquiry courses, and initiated the Reflective Writing course at the University in 1993. He was responsible for the writing of Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and the Epilogue.

Paula Sobiechowska and Alyson Buck were among the earliest participants in the reflective writing course, and the course soon involved all three of us in a close working partnership as joint tutors, planning the sequence of activities, choosing illustrative material, offering guidance to individual participants on the latter stages of their work, and assessing the final assignments. in 1995 Paula decided to undertake a systematic evaluation of the course, and the main part of Chapter 5 consists of extracts from her M.A. dissertation which reports her study. Chapter 6 was initiated and written by Alyson, reporting the successive personal phases of her involvement with the work.

However, each chapter has been discussed by all of us, and the final version has almost always involved rewording and restructuring as well as additions to and omissions from the original draft. the overall structure of the book has also been reworked several times as a result of our joint discussions.

So the text as a whole represents a statement to which all three of us are committed, even though different chapters were initially drafted by one or other of us, and thus retain the style and emphasis of the individual author. Thus sometimes we write in the singular (‘my argument’) and sometimes in the plural (‘our book’), and we hope that this preserves a sense of the balance between individual and collective work, without creating confusion. Even more importantly, of course, the book presents material written by participants in a course which has become a jointly shared project, particularly with regard to Chapters 3 and 4; and much of the most important writing which follows is not so much ‘our’ work at all, but that of the

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