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Reflective Practice

Reflective Practice
Writing and Professional Development

Fifth Edition

March 2018 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Reflecting thoughtfully on your work is vital for improving your own self-awareness, effectiveness, and professional development. This newly updated Fifth Edition explores reflective writing as a creative and dynamic process for this critical inquiry.

This bestselling book has been used worldwide in various disciplines including: education, social work, business & management, medicine, and healthcare. It is essential reading for students and professionals seeking to enhance their reflective writing skills and to examine their own practice in greater critical depth.
Chapter 1: Reflective Practice: an Introduction
Chapter 2: Values and Principles of Reflective Practice
Chapter 3: Theories and Contexts of Reflective Practice
Chapter 4: The Power of Narrative
Chapter 5: Perspective
Chapter 6: The Power of Metaphor
Chapter 7: Writing as Reflection
Chapter 8: How to Do Reflective and Reflexive Writing
Chapter 9: Reflective Practice Journals
Chapter 10: Assessment and Evaluation
Chapter 11: Reflective Writing and Team Development
Chapter 12: Reflection on Reflection

I particularly liked the chapters relating to stories and metaphors. The author talks about the importance of stories in story form, a creative approach that really catches the imagination. The book is beautifully written and the vignettes are like stories in themselves. The Write to Learn exercises are a great way to consolidate knowledge and practice reflective writing skills.

Angela Hodgkins
Course Leader BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children and Families, University of Worcester

Abraham Flexner a physician and educator at Princeton wrote in 1939 that “the conception of what is useful may not have become too narrow to be adequate to the roaming and capricious possibilities of the human spirit”. Whilst striving towards a collection of knowledge that is immediately useful and relevant, we overlook that deep learning, the kind that leads to the transfer of ideas, requires the pondering of information that seems irrelevant or useless.  Bolton’s work provides a toolkit for students and academics contemplate the opaqueness of knowledge, to spend time ‘letting go’ of certainties, and thus create a higher mental state for problem solving.

Alex Forsythe
Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool

This ‘go-to’ book is an absolute must for everyone concerned with professional development. In this fifth edition, the writers have enhanced the examples and activities of reflective writing and questioning, leading the reader to deeper understandings of reflection and reflexivity. It is a wonderfully supportive book for all practitioners.

Regan Shaw
School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee
Key features


  • An expanded range of exercises and activities
  • A new emphasis on using e-portfolios
  • Further guidance on reflective writing assignments
  • Enhanced discussion of reflection as a key employability skill
  • Additional online resources

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Reflective Practice: An Introduction

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ISBN: 9781526411709

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