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Worth loving, a guideline for reflecting practitioners
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy and Linguistics.
2005 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A problem with most models of learning through reflective practice, scenario based or not, is that they tend towards a descriptivist relativism, whereas the notion of learning has a ring of achieving a more valuable state, frequently termed ‘development’, ‘increased consciousness’, or ‘insight’. This tendency is due to the stress on the context, life stories and scenarios connected with practices, in combination with the epistemological rejection of a firm (objective) cognitive ground that practitioners can apply through the use of rules of rationality. Reflective practice is, as Donald Schön has put it, “awareness of indeterminate, swampy zones of practice that lie beyond its canons” (1987). The lack of a logically applicable cognitive ground is typically thought to characterize factual as well as evaluative/ normative judgments (or at least the latter). The decision of what mental changes constitute learning for practitioners engaged in reflective practice, then, is up to the contextually determined, story bound and scenario enacting individuals. In this paper I argue that any model of learning through reflective practice that aspires to be morally satisfying needs a universally acceptable foundation for evaluation. Such a foundation, I argue, is best offered by the ethical axiom that all human beings have equal value, or that all human beings are worth loving. The use of this axiom in moral evaluation of progress in learning is compatible with the view that reflective practice involves “indeterminate, swampy zones of practice that lie beyond its canons”. The reason is that the force of this axiom is not logical but psychological – which is what it takes to guide context-, story- and scenario sensitive reconsideration and change in views and attitudes. This force is due not only to its inherently persuasive character, but also to the persuasive character of the meta-ethical device justifying the axiom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. 15- p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7596OAI: diva2:147267
Scenario-Based Learning: Reflection and Action on Lived and Unlived Experiences, Institute of Reflective Practice, Gloucester, England, 23-24 June 2005

Refereegranskat abstract. / Peer reviewed abstract.

Available from: 2008-01-11 Created: 2008-01-11 Last updated: 2014-04-25

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Fjellström, Roger
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