Hargreaves, Janet (2004) So how do you feel about that? Assessing reflective practice. Nurse Education Today, 24 (3). pp. 196-201. ISSN 0260-6917

Despite a lack of evidence base, reflective practice remains a central feature of education for many professional groups. In addition, current trends in learning, teaching and assessing require a robust alignment between learning outcomes and assessed course work [Active Learning Higher Educat. 2 (2002) 145)]. Varied definitions of what it means to be a ‘reflective practitioner' and limited research make it difficult to know how and what to assess [Reflective Practice in Nursing, Blackwell Science].

Assessment of reflective practice frequently requires students to recount narratives about their practice and both formative feedback and assessment criteria make it clear that such narratives must demonstrate the students' application of appropriate and safe professional practice. This paper suggests that only three ‘stories' are legitimate and identifies these as ‘valedictory' ‘condemnatory' and ‘redemptive'

This conclusion drawn is that the imperative to do well academically discourages students from engaging in honest and open reflection. This being the case, it may be argued that the assessment of reflective practice is a potential barrier to the personal growth and integrity that programmes are trying to nurture.

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