Reflection: a review of the literature


Sue Atkins Senior Lecturer School of Health Care Studies Oxford Brookes University Academic Centre Level 4 John Radcliffe Hospital Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, England


This paper is a review of the literature on reflection The purpose was to unravel and make sense of the complex literature, and to identify the skills required to engage in reflection An analysis of the literature revealed that differences between authors’ accounts of reflective processes are largely those of terminology, detail and the extent to which these processes are arranged in a hierarchy Key stages of reflection are identified and represented by a model Skills required to engage in reflection were found to be implicit in the literature and these are identified Methodological issues related to empirical literature are discussed It is suggested that reflection is an important learning tool in professional education and that the skills required for reflection need to be developed in professional courses