‘Reflective practice bridges the gap between theory, skills, values and methods’
Evaluation, not only as a business tool, but as a useful practice in education. This is one of the ideas highlighted during the recent openclass organised by UNIR-Tavistock Chair in Social Science for Education and Change.
The first online conference between the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) and UNIR Research took place in June and was followed by a number of professionals, teachers and evaluators worldwide.
Camilla Child, and Dione Hills, principal consultants and researchers at TIHR, responded to different questions during the openclass highlighting points such as the use of our personal experience and evaluation skills to support learning, and how reflective learning can be implemented in an eLearning environment.
A way to improve
Dione Hills defended reflective practice as a ‘very useful tool, central to the evaluation process for guidelines on professional activity’. She added that reflective practice ‘is at the heart of recent professional development activities, it involves bringing feelings and implicit experience to the surface, and bridges the gap between theory, skills, values and methods’.
In the same vein, Camilla Child explained that reflective practice ‘is the capacity to reflect on action, creating awareness of the self in the relation to the system with which we are working so that we can work better with that system or set of relationships’. This method can be applied to education in many ways ‘using our own reflections to help to improve the system.
Reflective practice applied to eLearning
Both experts recognised that reflective practice on eLearning education is more difficult but we are on the right track. In the opinion of Camilla Child, online evaluation and reflective practice is ‘much more difficult. Recently we have developed some online resources to help people to think. Schools may try this [learning] online but we recommended to combine with interaction in peer groups’. Dione Hills underlined the role of the current technology developments ‘we consider that it is very important to be able to obtain feedback immediately. Now it’s possible to work with Skype, or Google, in order to see each other, and to know how the group is working’.
Daniel Burgos, Vice-chancellor for Research and Technology (UNIR Research), participated in the openclass giving his vision as an eLearning expert. He explained that UNIR and Tavistock Institute ‘joined forces to come up with some specific actions about social education, very focus on changing things: processes, activities, people, methodology… Our final goal is doing our best to obtain something very concrete and helpful to offer full support for researchers and citizens interested in the field’.
A recording of the openclass can been seen here.
For further information please contact:
Dr. Carlos Fernández-Alameda, Science Journalist at UNIR Research
Cristina Castellanos Serrano, Senior Researcher/ Consultant at Tavistock Institute
You can read this article on the UNIR Research website in Spanish.
Puede leer el artículo en español en la página de UNIR Research
About UNIR Research
UNIR Research – the Research and Technology Unit of the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR) – designs, implements and evaluates research strategies at the university. UNIR Research encourages researchers and professors to contribute effectively to research activities at UNIR, by participating in research groups, in national and European R&D Projects, as well as in a wide range of calls and initiatives related to research and to the technological aspect of the institution.
UNIR research integrates and directs research activities at UNIR in line with the main academic fields of the university (Technology, Education, Communication, Social Sciences, Law, Engineering, Humanities, Psychology, Business, Accessibility and Social Work). Moreover, UNIR Research promotes research agreements with national and international institutions from all over the world, (mostly from Europe and Latin America). UNIR Research also represents the university at international congresses, in international organisms and committees.
About the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) applies social science to contemporary issues and problems. It was established as a not for profit organisation with charitable purpose in 1947. The Institute is engaged with evaluation and action research, organisational development and change consultancy, executive coaching and professional development. Its aim is supporting sustainable change and ongoing learning, focused in the areas of employment, health and social welfare, partnerships, learning, families, and local & regional development.
The TIHR is dedicated to the study of human relations for the purpose of bettering working life and conditions for all humans within their organisations, communities and broader societies and to the influence of environment in all its aspects on the formation or development of human character or capacity.
TIHR works nationally and internationally to promote a learning culture in organisations and communities through developing individuals, groups and organisations in their capacity to think through actions, to change and put into practice new insights and in accompanying a process of change of quality of conversations and engagement. It publishes two peer-reviewed journals: Evaluation – The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice – and Human Relations.