Literature review on Critical and Reflective learning

The undermentioned literature reappraisal will concentrate on the construct of critical and brooding acquisition. Critical and brooding acquisition is used the universe over in assorted academic establishments and in professional pattern. Firstly it would be imperative that critical contemplation is defined. Following on from this a treatment shall take topographic point around the assorted models and theories offered by assorted theoreticians on the topic. Finally a critical reappraisal of the underlying thought which underlies much of the policy doing procedure in Ireland will be undertaking.

There are assorted definitions used to explicate the procedure of critical contemplation. At a really basic degree, critical contemplation ( CR ) occurs when and single inquiries either their ain thoughts or the thoughts of another. However as Van Woerkom ( 2010 ) suggests there are many different schools of idea on what is involved in the critical contemplation procedure. For illustration the ideological signifier of critical contemplation would concentrate on disputing and oppugning dominant or unfair political orientations. The psychoanalytical school of CR is focused more on the person and involves the reframing of personal issues or jobs. The analytical theoretical account of CR is the procedure of mentally analyzing statements in the hope of steering 1s beliefs or actions. Finally the pragmatist constructivism school of CR relates to the rating of assorted signifiers of information in an effort to supply a solution, while at the same clip recognizing that the solution itself is unfastened to further oppugning ( Van Woerkom, 2010 ) . What seems obvious from these definitions is the fact that the inquiring and contemplation of a sensed world at both a societal and personal degree are cardinal in each procedure. Furthermore it seems evident that the issues that each school is turn toing can all impact upon one another. For case it could be argued that the psychological well-being of an person could be greatly influenced by the dominant political orientation within a society. Addressing merely the psychological issues with the psychoanalytical attack may turn out fruitless, if social influences doing psychological hurt are non addressed. Assorted theoreticians have dissected the critical contemplation procedure on a much deeper degree.

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Dewey in ( ( 1933, in Boud et al,1994 ) suggests that contemplation is the procedure of an single recapturing their experience, believing about it and measuring it. He believed that contemplation was initiated by an interior edginess caused by an single going disillusioned with their current world. Contemplation may besides be instigated by a positive experience. The person may wish to larn what worked in the positive experience, in order to reiterate the behavior that brought about the positive experience. Dewey ‘s chief focal point was centred on the impression that contemplation is a extremely rational exercising which is based in an grounds based attack which focused on accomplishments and attitudes. However as assorted writers suggest Dewey ‘s focal point on accomplishments and attitudes is limited and fails to let for the affectional ( emotional ) component involved in the acquisition procedure ( Boud et al, 1994, Rawson, 2000 ) . Another restricting facet of Dewey ‘s theory was the given that one would foremost hold to do a error in order to larn from it.

Kolb & A ; Fry ( 1975 ) believed that for effectual acquisition to happen the scholar would hold to finish a rhythm of acquisition, interrupt down into four phases: Concrete experience, observation and contemplation, organizing abstract constructs, proving them in new state of affairss. In kernel, an single begins the larning procedure by going involved in a new experience, which they so reflect upon internally in order to do sense of the experience. The single so hypothesises about different theories and so applies such theories in new state of affairss. It should be noted that an person may get down in any phase and switch between these phases. And many scholars may merely utilize two of the phases, depending upon their acquisition manner ( Kolb & A ; Fry 1975 ) .

Donald Schon ( 1995 ) has built upon Deweys construct by presenting the thought of dual looped acquisition. He suggested that the bulk of larning in mundane life occurred at a degree where persons used old held values and premises to inform their present action ( individual looped larning ) . However Double Looped larning involves a deeper degree of contemplation where persons question these values and premises and subject them to critical probe. . Agryis ( 1999 ) uses an analogy of how a thermostat responds to room temperature by turning on the heat if the room gets to cold and turning it off when it gets to warm. The thermostat responds by having signals from the room temperature. He contended that this equated to a human being having positive or negative signals about their actions and so altering their actions ( Single loop larning ) . Traveling back to the thermoregulator analogy, dual looped larning would inquire the inquiry, why the room got excessively hot or cold in the first topographic point. The same goes for human existences when they question the underlying premises which informed their actions in the first topographic point. Such acquisition is non limited to the person and such acquisition could be applied to administrations and society ( Agryis, 1999 ) ,

However as Rawson ( 2000 ) suggests, many establishments seem to handle intellect as absolute and do n’t let for the oppugning necessary in the critical contemplation procedure. He goes on to propose that society works on a footing of holding power over, instead than power with. He believed that such an attack was apparent in many educational establishments. He advocates the impression of larning to larn where the relevancy of assorted facets of cognition continued to be questioned and challenged. Rawson argues that cognition is non a concluding merchandise and contends that the significance and understanding procedure is more of import than the terminal merchandise. His analysis is closely linked with the instructions of Paulo Friere.

Friere ‘s ( 1998 ) CR theory was rooted steadfastly in the ideological school of idea. He believed the educational system served to reproduce the position quo which was influenced by the dominant ideological discourse. He was of the sentiment that pedagogues should dispute the position quo through ambitious pupils to oppugn the dominant discourse, which he believed served to reproduce inequalities. He stressed the importance of duologue within the instruction system, as he believed without duologue ; true instruction could non take topographic point. Hooks ( 1994 ) captures the impression of instruction without duologue when she speaks of her experience as an undergraduate and alumnus pupil. She suggests that the bulk of lectors used the schoolroom as an avenue to exercise their position of the universe upon pupils. Friere ( 1998 ) did non recommend a non directing attack to instruction, nevertheless he did emphasize it should be the procedure and non the pupil that should be directed. Friere ( 1998 ) recognised that each pupil had their ain alone life experience and contended that the pupils experience was priceless in the acquisition experience. Very fundamentally Friere ( 1998 ) was of the sentiment that instruction was more about enabling pupils to inquiry and dispute the normally held cognition within society. Meizrow ( 1994 ) besides spoke about contemplation in footings of transmutation.

Mezirow ( 1994 ) described brooding acquisition as a procedure in which the scholar has to see or reconsider certain premises they may keep about themselves or the universe. He argued that the most effectual contemplation occurred when the scholar discovers their premises to be in some manner weakened. It causes the scholar to look at grounds why their premises have caused them to make determinations or to respond in a certain manner and to possibly re-evaluate their premises. He explained that when the scholar accepts that their past premises may hold been wrong they have created a ‘transformative infinite ‘ and within that infinite they can be unfastened to prosecuting in new-found cognition. This, he believes, can take to a deeper degree of brooding pattern. As mentioned earlier emotions can play an of import portion in such a procedure

Boud et Al ( 1994 ) suggest that past experiences can greatly find an person ‘s ability to larn in new state of affairss. If acquisition was merely centred in the transportation of cognition from one person to another, larning would be a smooth happening and each person would take in cognition with minimum trouble. However emotions such as anxiousness can do troubles for those who are take parting in new learning experiences. The bulk of persons will see anxiousnesss when faced with new larning. However for some the anxiousness can be overpowering and profoundly impact the acquisition procedure. So how persons learn is greatly influenced by emotion ( Boud et al, 1994 ) .

In decision it can be seen that there are many countries of both personal and social life which could profit from the procedure of critical contemplation. The whole impression of larning to larn seems to be an attack which encourages independent and autonomous acquisition. While there are many schools of idea on the procedure of CR, they all seem be directed at oppugning the implicit in premises and discourses which inform both single and social actions. It seems obvious from the assorted readings that critical contemplation is frequently frowned upon as something which upsets the position quo of administrations.


The topic that I have chosen to reflect on is how the Irish society continues to use past solutions to show jobs. If we look to the recent recession it is clear that the Irish authorities continue to take the attack of advancing competition and neo broad policies as a solution to the current economic conditions. As Coulter & A ; Coleman ( 2003 ) argue the dominant discourse in Irish society suggests thatA the economic system is the mechanism which will convey about the greatest good for everyone concerned.A A They contend that such a discourse is constructed by everyone within society.A Some discourses are so dominant that they about seem to be natural and many fail to oppugn them.A If we look to the Celtic Tiger in Ireland, there were assorted observers proposing that the state was in danger of a serious fiscal and economic crisis. Back in 2007 Bertie Ahern famously made the comment, that those who were groaning and cribbing about how the economic system was being run should perpetrate self-destruction ( Stafford, 2010 ) .A The whiners and cribbers he was mentioning excessively were economic experts who were warning about the economic system non being stable and the future clang of the economy.A Even though these economic experts were right in their anticipations the bulk of Irish society sided with Bertie Ahern. As Friere ( 1998 ) suggests, the demand to oppugn dominant cognition is a must, nevertheless in the Irish instance when the dominant cognition was questioned the persons were ridiculed.A A This cardinal facet of Irish society demands to change.A

Even in the current recession the authorities continues to propose that the lone manner recover from the economic downswing is to stay competitory in the planetary world.A The dominant thought involved here is merely returning to the dominant thought of the yesteryear which suggests the economic system is traveling to rectify all the ailments of the country.A Even the EU/IMF bailout underwent really small critical analysis. The same observers who were warning of the economic crisis during the Celtic Tiger prostration were all proposing that there were options which could hold being taking. However merely like the Celtic Tiger epoch, the authorities chose to follow a way without sing the long-run effects. As Storey ( 2010 ) argues IMF bailouts in other states have had black effects for those states. By nature these bailouts seem to be highly undemocratic. For illustration the IMF ( an unelected external organic structure ) has a major influence on the development and execution of national policy. There was no referendum on this bailout and the general Irish populace had really small say on whether or non the bailout was applied for. The presence of undemocratic regulation seemed to be apparent in Ireland a figure of old ages before the IMF arrived in town. For case the first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was rejected by the Irish people, nevertheless the Irish authorities held a 2nd referendum inquiring the inquiry in a different manner. Compared to other states there was really small protest in relation to the bailout or asceticism steps which were been implemented. Even when it was evident that the authorities were lying for a figure of yearss in relation to using for a bailout, there was really small public call. While pole evaluations suggested that the authorities were dropping in popularity, the degree of protest was minimum. The inquiry has to be asked, why the Irish populace are so inactive in relation to state of affairss which will hold serious effects for their lives. One account could be the deficiency of societal solidarity. For case Bauman ( 2000 ) argues that in modern society persons are now withstanding their individuality through the ingestion of assorted goods and merchandises. He argues that this creates a deficiency of societal solidarity and creates a more individualistic society. It could be argued that the Celtic Tiger has created a society of consumers who are merely concerned about their ain demands. The Gaelic Tiger period in Ireland is frequently seen as a period where persons and groups were populating excessive and flush life styles. It seems as though persons in society are now more disquieted about their ain demands and hold really small concern for others. This may alter one time the true impact of the asceticism measures hits place for assorted groups and persons. It seems really apparent from the recent budget that the most vulnerable in society are traveling to pay the highest monetary value for the errors of the elite.

It seems evident that it is the underlying thought and political orientation in Irish society which needs to undergo a critical contemplation. Both those in power and society as a whole demand to see what sort of society they want for both themselves and future coevalss. If the deficiency of protest in Ireland is anything to travel by it seems as though persons in Irish society have become self-interested and hold really small concern for the more vulnerable in society. It may be deserving presenting the procedure of critical contemplation at an earlier age in schools in an effort to make independent minds who are capable of disputing dominant discourse at both organizational and political degree. However from my ain experience of assorted societal attention scenes and the instruction system such an ideal does non look high on the docket. It may accommodate those at the top to hold a society which follows and does non oppugn. Or it may be, that those at the top do non oppugn their ain motivations. Either manner, if Ireland wishes to larn from the errors of the yesteryear, some signifier of oppugning demands to happen at a societal, governmental and single degree. The recent recession provides a infinite for such inquiring. Whether such inquiring materialises at the degree suggested in this contemplation remains to be seen.


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