Friday, 12 June 2015

On Reflection: Professional Supervision

Attending a workshop in professional supervision today I was reminded of why I write this blog as part of my reflective practice and the need we all have to reflect in and on action as Schon (1983) outlines below:

Reflection in action …as the experience is happening…
Reflection on action is done later and entails looking at why certain actions were taken…’


Kolb’s Learning Cycle or ‘circle of experience’ (1975) shows how this reflection works:


When it comes to reflection in a professional capacity there are many and varied ways to learn. I provide 1:1 line-management supervision and non-line-management supervision and I learn as much in the interactions the supervisees. I learn from reflection whether it is filling in an evaluation form or in discussion in group evaluations after sessions. I learn from every conversation I have ,as well as every thought process before, during and after every action, in my individual reflection in and on action.

Whether using  a Learning Diary or a blog such as this, I use writing to explore feelings and experiences to come to new understandings. My reflective practice is a  journey, as Senge (1990) would put it,  living in a continual learning mode’ where people never ’arrive’

In the process of professional supervision the two people in the relationship are pilgrims together on a pilgrimage, learning together.


The pilgrim has the ability (and joy) of assisting others in their reflection process people who in another situation could be doing that for us. Pilgrimage implies seeing someone as a fellow traveler, where discussion and reflection take place as par of the over all journey. In supervisory terms, this means acknowledging the value of what both the supervisee and supervisor bring to the supervisory journey’ (Green 2002)

The pilgrimage we are on to greater understanding is made easier by the company of fellow travellers. They can provide direction. They can help remove barriers on the path. They can motivate or encourage when the journey seems long. And sometimes they only need to be there to make us realise that we are not alone. That we are all pilgrims travelling together on the pilgrimage of life-long-learning.


Green, D. (2002) The Process of Supervision, The Development of Supervision as an Educational Process, Unit 1: Supervision Studies Handbook, YMCA George Williams College
Kolb, D.A. & Fry, R. (1975) Towards an Applied Theory of Experiential Learning in Cooper, C.L. (Ed) Theories of Group Processes, John Wiley & Sons
Kolb D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall
Schon, D.A. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner,  New York,  Basic Books
Senge, P. M. (1990) The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, New York, Doubleday

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