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Fostering an action‐reflection dynamic amongst student practitioners

Helen Francis (Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
John Cowan (Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Article publication date: 6 June 2008




This paper seeks to explore changes taking place in a curriculum design for postgraduate teaching in personnel and development, aimed at enhancing lifelong learning. A scheme is described which aims to improve the alignment for professional development of students, in ways that facilitate critically reflective practice.


The authors draw on their personal experiences as a programme leader (Master's in HRM) and an educational consultant to describe their strategy for critically reflective continuous professional development (CPD). In doing so, their practice is related to some of the theories underlying critical reflection, and the key challenges in seeking to engage student practitioners in professional development of this kind are drawn out.


It is argued that achieving an alignment between the development and assessment of student capabilities is vital to the development of critical reflection, and it is explained how the strategy presented for CPD supports self‐management of this process.

Practical implications

Although the paper is grounded in the authors' particular experiences and structure for student support, it is hoped that reflections on these can be of general value to those interested in developing critically reflective practice amongst students which is both effective and practical in the increasingly demanding world of higher education.


The self‐managed process explored in the paper is framed by a social approach to learning that places peer interaction at the forefront of the learning processes involved.



Francis, H. and Cowan, J. (2008), "Fostering an action‐reflection dynamic amongst student practitioners", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 336-346.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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