Organizing for Deliberate Practice Through Workplace Reflection

  • Gunilla AvbyEmail author
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 16)


A broad range of caring professions in contemporary society use evidence-based criteria as the building blocks of practice, which at a general level is assumed to bridge the gap between research and practice. However, the focus on the use of evidence-based approaches has thus far primarily been on practitioners’ instrumental use of knowledge, rather than on conceptual use in the form of enhanced awareness, knowledge and understanding of one’s work and shifts in ideas and attitudes concerning various aspects of work.

This chapter addresses the issue of workplace reflection as a means for deliberately promoting professional learning and the remaking of practice. A basic assumption in this chapter is that professional learning has the potential to be enhanced when practitioners interact with different knowledge sources in work, such as research, practice experience and policy.

The chapter is structured in three sections. Following a brief introduction, the notion of reflection is elaborated on, as it is important to qualify and position this construct as a deliberate act. Then, a distinction is made between two different but complementary knowledge forms, research-based and practice-based knowledge, and adaptive and developmental modes of learning. The different learning modes show how knowledge and reflection are used to different degrees when handling a certain task in the course of daily work. The first section concludes in a conceptual model. In the second section, two cases involving professionals in the public sector in Sweden serve as an illustration of how organized reflection can provide a mechanism for practitioners to interact with research-based and practice-based knowledge. In the third section, some of the challenges involved in achieving reflection at work are addressed. These challenges are potentially helpful for managing a broad strategic environment for learning at work.


Tacit Knowledge Work Practice Professional Learning Knowledge Source Adaptive Learning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helix Vinn Excellence Centre, Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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