Asking key questions of self-reflection

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The call for individuals to engage in reflection is increasingly prevalent across much of the world. To aid this, a wealth of practical paper-based manuals, online tutorials and face-to-face training is available to foster participant engagement. However, a noticeable gap in this support is evident when learners and professionals in the workforce are asked to ‘self-reflect’. This thoughtpiece seeks to positively address this by offering a literature-based exploration of this critical skill; this is facilitated by asking and answering key questions such as what is self-reflection, why is it important, and how can it be practically undertaken. Efforts to encourage individuals to engage in creative self-reflective activity are fuelled by an explanation of the Self-Reflective Shapes approach that has been developed by the author. Written to be accessible in both content
and scope, the discussion offered serves as an introductory ‘go-to’ that has the potential to help individuals self-reflect as part of their learning and/or professional development with improved clarity, appreciation and confidence.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberNA
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Simon Brownhill is a Senior Lecturer of Education (Teaching and Learning) at the School of Education, University of Bristol. Specialising in pedagogy, he predominantly teaches on the MSc Education programme and supervises doctoral students (EdD and PhD). He previously worked as a Senior Teaching Associate as part of Education Reform and Innovation at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, principally serving as one of the lead trainers for the NIS Centre of Excellence levelled courses in Kazakhstan. His varied research and writing interests include supporting and training adult learners, children’s writing (fiction and non-fiction), effective behaviour
management in the classroom (3–11+), men who work in the Early Years (0–8), and assessment. Simon has published his work in high-impact peer-reviewed journal articles (e.g., Gender and Education) and has presented his research at international conferences, serving as a Keynote speaker in Ireland, Portugal and Indonesia. He is co-author of the award-winning book Men in Early Years Settings: Building a Mixed Gender Workforce (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Self-reflection
  • Key questions
  • Definitions
  • Importance of
  • Practical strategies


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