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Critical reflection on professional development in the social sciences: interview results

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia and Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)
Eva Cendon (Deutsche Universität für Weiterbildung (Berlin University for Professional Studies), Berlin, Germany)

International Journal for Researcher Development

ISSN: 2048-8696

Article publication date: 6 May 2014



The aim of this paper is to present an interview and postscript that examine the specific meaning, rationale, conceptual framework, assessment and teaching of critical reflection in and on professional development in management and higher education from an action research perspective.


This article is presented in the new genre of PIP (Zuber-Skerritt, 2009): Preamble – Interview – Postscript. The Preamble (P) sets out the background, purpose, structure and conduct of the interview (I), which addresses six probing questions and is followed by a Postscript (P) that reveals additional comments and reflections on the interview, and identifies learning outcomes and implications.


Reflective practice is essential for a deep approach to learning, research and professional development and it is a driving force to enable learners to be adequately equipped for constant and complex change in today's and tomorrow's turbulent world.

Research limitations/implications

The article is positioned to inspire further R&D in the current debate on urgently needed radical and rapid change in higher education for the twenty-first century.

Practical implications

As well as the article's practical suggestions about why and how to develop reflective learning/practice, the PIP conceptual model applied in this article offers a useful practical approach for researchers to explore self-ethnography through interviews.


Two conceptual models illustrate the essence of this article, providing practical help to academics and other professionals to advance reflective practice in research and learning.



The authors acknowledge the support of the Deutsche Universität für Weiterbildung (DUW) in Berlin, especially its President, Professor Ada Pellert. They also thank Maureen Todhunter for professional editing.


Zuber-Skerritt, O. and Cendon, E. (2014), "Critical reflection on professional development in the social sciences: interview results", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 16-32.



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