The role of the practice educator in helping students develop critical reflection


  • Hilary Lawson University of Sussex



This article offers advice to practice educators about the teaching of reflective and critically reflective practice to social work students on placement. It explains what is meant by critical reflection, it offers different tools and ways of teaching critical reflection to students, and it  also strives to problematise the teaching of critical reflection- the meaning of which is itself contested and evolving- and to emphasise the need to subject all teaching  tools to theoretical scrutiny and awareness of socially constructed context and assumptions.  A critically reflective practice educator will interrogate the knowledge underpinning the skills and encourage the student to do the same. The article argues that students have different capacity to be reflective. It explores why many students find it difficult, and suggests that effective critical reflection develops only with time and experience.

Author Biography

Hilary Lawson, University of Sussex

Senior Teaching Fellow University of Sussex, Head of Social Work Continuing Professional Development. Have worked with practice educators and been teaching practice educators for 25 years.


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How to Cite

Lawson, H. (2018). The role of the practice educator in helping students develop critical reflection. The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 15(2), 38-55.