Skip to content

Refining professional knowing as a creative practice: Towards a framework for 'Self-Reflective Shapes' and a novel approach to reflection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalReflective Practice
Early online date14 Jan 2020
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Jan 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 14 Jan 2020


This paper introduces a theoretical framework for the 'Self-Reflective Shapes' approach, a creative solution that was developed in response to real-life educational challenge to support the development of a culture of reflection. Working with Kazakhstani teacher-trainers, the aim was to help them to move beyond an approach to development that prized uncritical acceptance of reified knowledge, focused only on best practice in relation to measured outcomes and which encouraged passive compliance. We frame the problem empirically by outlining experiences of working with teacher-trainers and theoretically by examining conceptions of professional knowing and reflection that can lead to the over emphasis of either explicit, well-defined knowledge outcomes or tacit, ill-defined embodied knowledge. Drawing on diverse reflective traditions, in this context reflection is focused on developing the freedoms necessary to successfully meet competing educational demands, be they academic, standards-based, developmental and social-transformational in nature. Working from the notion that balancing freedom and constraints is an inherently creative act, this paper proposes that creative acts of reflection provides a vehicle to address the tensions experienced by educators. 'Self-Reflective Shapes' is presented as an example such a creative approach which empowers teachers to focus on the tensions and intentions that are of greatest concern in their current practice, and which addresses the need to simultaneously develop diverse knowledge forms when addressing multiple, ill-defined and competing educational problems.

    Research areas

  • Reflection, Creative Practice, Professional Knowledge, Self-reflection, Teacher Education



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor and Francis at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 366 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 14/07/21

    Request copy


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups