Tag Archives: Workshop 1

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

Workshop 1: The Reflective Practitioner

(This reflection was originally written on March 10, 2013)

“After this, therefore because of this.”

The logical fallacy of hindsight and looking-back is assigning causality where none existed. Reflecting, I believe, is about recognising learning experiences as they occur and transparently documenting the implications of what has taken place.

This workshop–the first of many–forced me to examine my ability to learn from my own practice, and clearly presented a critical model for doing so:

What happened? Why? So what? Now what?

If I took anything away from this exercise it was this simple idea of inquisitive examination. I’ve always been a proponent of silently questioning any statement or analysis with a measured ‘So what?’, and applying that same heuristic to my own experiences was an easy step to take.

I also had the pleasure of hearing Lynn McAllister and Alisa Howlett (@acrystelle)  speak on the importance of awareness in professional development. They both discussed mapping out, planning, and engaging with the learning process in online spaces.

Lynn championed the QUT provided ePortfolio system which, while powerful and intuitive, appeared too rigid and specific for my needs. I have no qualms about developing under public scrutiny, and I believe that reflecting on my learning inside the seclusion of QUT’s servers benefits nobody.

I’m obviously much more inclined to use a third-party CMS (like WordPress) as I am more aligned with the format agnostic approach and portability to other platforms. Should I feel the need to re-purpose or move my work in the future a CMS seems like a much safer bet than investing my content in a proprietary QUT system.

So what?

All in all, I consider full public transparency to be a critical component of my own reflective practice. Reflecting boils down to a conversation with oneself, and with no objective outsiders to weigh in on the discussion there is a meaningful lack of scrutiny.  Public intellectuals must be subject to rigorous scrutiny and criticism and be able to defend their positions and justify their arguments. Reflective practitioners must be held to the same standard or the entire exercise lacks direction and is simply self-congratulatory affirmation.