Daniel Schön's influential model of reflective practice and in particular his concept of "Reflection in Action" has hade widespread impact on thinking about professional practice over the last 30 years. This is particularly true in the field of education, but also more widely in other caring services including medicine, nursing and social work.

Mintz, J. (2016) Bion and Schon: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Reflection in Action, British Journal of Educational Studies, Online First

In this article I argue that it is the productive emotional struggle with uncertainty that lies within Schön’s moment, which ultimately leads to the teacher coming to a moment of decision about what the child might need in a particular situation. This (contingent) understanding arises from a dialectic intertwining of knowledge derived from intersubjective relationship and theoretical knowledge, for example, about typical and atypical development in children.

In other words, teachers working with children with say autism need to "know" the child, consonantly with the way Buber suggested that we need to know the "other", at the same time as making use of extant scientific and theoretical models. The art of Reflection in Action is to adapt these models anew for each child (and indeed for each interaction with the child) so that they iteratively fit the needs of the child and not the desire of the practitioner for easy fixes.

See the paper here.


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