A holistic approach to fieldwork through balanced reflective practice
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Reflective practice is well-established as a tool for practitioner development in areas such as nursing, social work and education. Reflection involves the integration of theoretical constructs and practical action; therefore it seems somewhat ironic that there is little written on reflective practice within the natural sciences – where theory and action are often juxtaposed. This paper attempts to address this gap through examining biological fieldwork in relation to a balanced system of reflection that embraces the cognitive, psychomotor, affective and conative aspects of practice. A model of reflective practice that asks practitioners to log their reflections against these four domains was applied to a biodiversity survey of tropical mountain streams in Trinidad. It was found that there is clear evidence that biological fieldwork can embrace a reflective methodology and that reflective practice can be used in fieldwork as a tool for making explicit that which is already implicit. A holistic vision of fieldwork is sketched out here, where the introduction of a balanced model of reflective practice can support an approach that moves beyond the consideration of the environment and the researcher as two separate entities and, instead, considers the relationship between environment and researcher.
Blair , E & Deacon , A 2015 , ' A holistic approach to fieldwork through balanced reflective practice ' Reflective Practice , vol 16 , no. 3 , pp. 418-434 . DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2015.1052388
© 2015, Publisher / the Author(s). This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at www.tandfonline.com / https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2015.1052388
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