Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Critical Reflection on Professional Practitioner Inquiry

I appreciate, even more so than after Module 1, that everything is connected (Appendix A) yet totally dependent on personal bias, engagement with others, openness and inquisitiveness.
For this Critical Reflection, however, I have divided the text into three more easily identifiable areas of learning.

1. Work-based Learning
Greater interaction with fellow professionals in this module has proven even more the importance of building and maintaining, through active engagement, strong relationships within my community of practice, allowing me to:

·         build on ideas,

·         encounter new ways of thinking and areas of potential interest, and

·         resolve problems more successfully,
which, in turn, has lead to an even greater degree of professional development. (Appendix B)

I realise that by engaging in open and honest discourse with professional associates, about all aspects of my practice, I cannot eliminate conflict but I will gain greater skill, with which to identify potential issues, and tools, to build bridges or resolve problems before they escalate. (Appendix C)

2. Ethics
Developing a greater ethical awareness, alongside a deeper acknowledgement of my
personal morals, has highlighted the ‘power’ I have as both teacher and researcher, and that my primary objective must always be ‘to do no harm.’ (Appendix D)

By understanding, and accepting, that concepts such as truth, good, right, and wrong are subjective, and therefore open to interpretation, I am better informed to understand and, thereby, approach different ethical stances. (Appendix E - part one, Appendix E - part two)

3. Inquiry
I have been able to refine, condense and clarify my inquiry topic through a combination of:

·         blogging and commenting, (Appendix F)

·         reading and sharing, and (Appendix G)

·         piloting and reflecting. (Appendix H)

These skills will not only continue to support my learning and development in the next module - my research project - but in my professional practice too.

I have gained confidence in reading academic text, something that I had previously felt was beyond my grasp, by understanding how to approach and appraise the literature, and to pinpoint what is relevant to my specific needs at that point in time. (Appendix I)

By considering the limitations of my inquiry I am a lot more conscious of the constraints I encounter in my practice, and also my own limitations. I have started to realise that I cannot, and should not try to, control everything, and that certain responsibilities rest on other shoulders than my own.
I can also now acknowledge, and have taken steps to address, the fact that in trying to organise every aspect of my students learning I have been taking away their opportunity to develop autonomy and ownership. (Appendix J)

In conclusion, the process of engaging with this module has not only helped me to develop my inquiry but, perhaps more importantly, to see my professional practice as inquiry; to understand that problems encountered, questions raised, and weakness discovered should be treated with the same rigor as any formal research project. In future I will certainly reflect on not only the phenomenon itself but different approaches to it, the ethical considerations and implications of these strategies, and the inherent limitations in solving any practical problem.

Buckroyd, J. (2000). The student dancer: Emotional aspects of the teaching and learning of dance. Dance Books Ltd.

Council for Dance Education and Training. (2008/9). Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Teachers of Dance, accessed 9th May 2013

Denscombe, M. (2010). The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects. Open University Press.

Fallows, S. J., & Ahmet, K. (1999). Inspiring students: Case studies in motivating the learner. Routledge.

Fraleigh, S. H., & Hanstein, P. (Eds.). (1999). Researching dance: evolving modes of inquiry. Pittsburgh, Pa, University of Pittsburgh Press.

Greene, S., & Hogan, D. (2005). Researching children's experience methods and approaches. London, Sage.

Hart, C. (1999). Doing a literature review: Releasing the social science research imagination. SAGE Publications Limited.

Nordin-Bates, S. M., Quested, E., Walker, I. J., & Redding, E. (2012). Climate Change in the Dance Studio. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 1(1), 3-16, accessed 31st March 2013, <>.  

Riley, J. (1990). Getting the Most from Your Data: A Handbook of Practical Ideas on how to Anlayse Qualitative Data. Technical and Educational Services.

Sass, E. J. (1989). Motivation in the college classroom: What students tell us. Teaching of Psychology, 16(2), 86-88, accessed 19th March 2013,  <>.

Stinson, S. W. (1997) A question of fun: Adolescent engagement in dance education. Dance Research Journal, 29 (2), 49-69, accessed 9th May 2013,

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