Reflective practice, reflexivity, and critical reflection in social work education in Australia
Australian Social Work
Taylor & Francis Group
School of Arts and Humanities
Reflective practice, reflexivity, and critical reflection are now widely accepted as important in contemporary social work practice. Despite this, there remain differences in how the terms are discussed within the literature. This results in confusion in how students are instructed about reflective practice, reflexivity, and critical reflection. This paper presents a proposal for clarifying these concepts based on the results from an interpretive study of reflective practice in social work education and practice in Australia. The study utilised three different methods: autoethnography, an archaeological analytic, and qualitative interviews. It found that reflective practice is understood as a capability, a form of critical thinking, a discipline response to a changing sector, and a way of theorising from practice. Conceptual clarifications of reflective practice, reflexivity, and critical reflection are presented.