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The role of reflection in single and double loop learning


  • Jennifer Greenwood RN RM DipN RNT DipEd MEd PhD FRCNA

    1. Professor of Nursing, Western Sydney Area Health Service/UWS Nepean, Nursing Professorial Unit, Level 2, Nursing Education, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
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A recent review of the literature on reflective practice in nursing indicates that approaches to its promotion in the United Kingdom and Australia appear to differ. In the United Kingdom, these approaches promote single-loop learning whereas in Australia the approaches adopted attempt to promote double-loop learning. In this paper single and double-loop learning will be defined and the limitations of single-loop learning in nurse education will be discussed. In addition, definitions of reflective practice, the purposes it is claimed to serve and a range of frameworks developed to promote its development will be reviewed. Inconsistencies between espoused purposes and suggested frameworks will be discussed. The paper will also include a description of recent initiatives implemented in Western Sydney, Australia, to foster nurses’ double-loop learning.