Publication Details

Sykes, C. & Dean, B. A. (2013). A practice-based approach to student reflection in the workplace during a Work-Integrated Learning placement. Studies in Continuing Education, 35 (2), 179-192.


In the Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) curriculum, reflection on workplace activities is widely used to support student learning. Recent critiques have demonstrated the limitations of current approaches to support students' reflective learning of workplace practices. By employing a practice-based approach, we seek to refocus WIL reflection on workplace practices, emphasising the 'embedded (social), engaged (practice) and embodied (material) aspects' of students' reflective practices in the workplace. We argue that reflection-in-the-midst-of-action includes an often-overlooked phenomenological contribution that shifts attention from cognition to action. This study uses a case study of one typical WIL student to illustrate the importance of reflection-in-the-midst-of-action and the limitations of pedagogical structure using an e-log and reflective journal to capture reflection-in-the-midst-of-action. We argue that the move to consider reflection as a practice, and the move to refocus reflection to reflection-in-the-midst-of-action, supports a learning approach that is more congruent with workplace action and context.

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