Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Toward a New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions

Schon, Donald A.

This book offers an approach for educating professionals in all areas that will prepare them to handle the complex and unpredictable problems of actual practice with confidence, skill, and care. Builds on the concepts of professional competence that Schon introduced in The Reflective Practitioner (1983). Editorial Reviews Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly Doctors, architects, lawyers and engineers are all trained in schools that emphasize technique but neglect the key element of artistry that distinguishes the true professional. Today's professional is a drudge, mechanically applying privileged knowledge to rote tasks. That is Schon's diagnosis of higher education, and as a remedy he recommends learning by doing. To teach skills of improvisation and problem-framing, he feels our universities should borrow the methods used in art studios, dance conservatories, athletics coaching, craft appenticeships and psychoanalytic training. In all these settings, a dialogue between student and coach in a low-risk atmosphere encourages creativity. Despite its academic prose, this primer by an MIT urban studies professor will enlighten students, teachers and professionals. Schon concludes the book (a sequel to The Reflective Practitioner with a description of his attempt to create a ``studiolike'' curriculum for MIT's city planning courses. (July 15) Library Journal The reflective practitioner is one who participates in a practicum in the professional school which will help him or her ``acquire the kinds of artistry essential to competence in the indeterminate zones of practice.'' In The Reflective Practitioner (1983), Schon argued that professional schools (from engineering to public administration to teaching) were relying too heavily on scientific knowledge and technical rationality while giving little attention to ``reflection-in-action.'' Schon now details a program of reflective practicum education in the professional schools. His book should be of value to all educators, no matter what the field. A. R. Huggins, Memphis State Univ. Lib.

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