The challenges of developing reflective practice in public administration: a teaching perspective

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


Reflective practice is virtually considered emblematic of resourceful and adaptive action in view of increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environments and related wicked problems. Its value lies in questioning the taken-for-granted assumptions, identifying and challenging the dominant perspective on a situation in order to gain alternative perspectives and hence laying the foundations for innovative solutions. However, developing reflective practice is a challenge for PA/PM programmes. This chapter first provides a brief overview of the concept of reflective practice before addressing the relevance of theories to the ability to frame and reframe situations or problems (research-teaching-nexus). Furthermore, it highlights the main challenges in developing the relevant skills and competences and discusses how these can be tackled. Finally, transfer issues and the importance of contextual factors for successful reflective practice implementation in work environments are discussed, briefly raising the question of the cui bono of reflective practice resources and interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Teaching Public Administration
EditorsKarin Bottom, John Diamond, Pamela Dunning, Ian Elliott
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages178 - 187
ISBN (Electronic)9781800375697
ISBN (Print)9781800375680
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2022

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