Narrating practice: reflective accounts and the textual construction of reality
Version of Record online: 7 APR 2003
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 244–251, May 2003
How to Cite
Taylor, C. (2003), Narrating practice: reflective accounts and the textual construction of reality. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 42: 244–251. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2003.02613.x
- Issue online: 7 APR 2003
- Version of Record online: 7 APR 2003
- Submitted for publication 11 October 2002 Accepted for publication 28 January 2003
- reflective accounts;
- reflective practice;
- narrative analysis;
- practice professions;
- evidence-based practice;
- confessional culture
Background. Two approaches dominate current thinking in health and welfare: evidence-based practice and reflective practice. Whilst there is debate about the merits of evidence-based practice, reflective practice is generally accepted with critical debate as an important educational tool. Where critique does exist it tends to adopt a Foucauldian approach, focusing on the surveillance and self-regulatory aspects of reflective practice.
Aim. This article acknowledges the critical purchase on the concept of reflective practice offered by Foucauldian approaches but argues that microsociological and discourse analytic approaches can further illuminate the subject and thus serve as a complement to them.
Methods. The claims of proponents of reflective practice are explored, in opposition to the technical–rational approach of evidence-based practice.
Findings. Reflective practice tends to adopt a naive or romantic realist position and fails to acknowledge the ways in which reflective accounts construct the world of practice.
Conclusions. Microsociological approaches can help us to understand reflective accounts as examples of case-talk, constructed in a narrative form in the same way as case records and presentations.