Reflective practice

This tool has been developed by the BDA as an aid to support reflection and is based on a framework developed by Rolfe et al.

Learning through reflection is more meaningful if you go through a structured process. There are a number of models which aid the reflective process.  Some examples of models you might want to look at further are: Borton (1970), Gibbs (1998), Schon (1983) Rolfe et el (2001).

Borton developed a model of reflection based on three questions:

Reflective practice.png

Rolfe et al further developed Borton’s model and developed a framework for use in clinical practice.  

Tool for reflection

What? So what? Now what?
Description stage of reflection Theory and knowledge building stage of reflection Action‐oriented stage of reflection

What is the

  • Situation
  • Event
  • Problem/ difficulty
  • Reason for being stuck
  • Reason we don’t get on
  • etc

What was my role in the situation? 

What was I trying to achieve?

What actions did I take? What was the response of others?

What were the consequences

  • for my patient
  • for myself
  • for the client
  • for the student
  • etc

For others what feelings did it invoke

  • in my patient/client?
  • in myself?
  • in others?

What was good/bad about the experience?

So what does this tell me / teach me/ imply/ mean about

  • me
  • my patient/client
  • my student
  • others
  • our relationship
  • my patient’s/client’s care
  • my service
  • the model of care I am using
  • my attitudes
  • etc

So what was going through my mind as I reacted?

So what did I base my actions on?

So what other knowledge can I bring to the situation?

So what could be done to make it better?

So what is my new understanding of the situation?

So what broader issues arise from the situation?

Now what do I need to do in order to

  • make things better
  • stop being stuck
  • improve my patient’s care
  • resolve the situation
  • feel better
  • get on better
  • improve my effectiveness
  • etc

Now what broader issues need to be considered if this action is to be successful?

Now what might be the consequences?










Adapted from Rolfe et al (2001)