A holistic approach to fieldwork through balanced reflective practice

E. Blair, A. Deacon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Reflective practice is well-established as a tool for practitioner development in areas such as nursing, social work and education. Reflection involves the integration of theoretical constructs and practical action; therefore it seems somewhat ironic that there is little written on reflective practice within the natural sciences – where theory and action are often juxtaposed. This paper attempts to address this gap through examining biological fieldwork in relation to a balanced system of reflection that embraces the cognitive, psychomotor, affective and conative aspects of practice. A model of reflective practice that asks practitioners to log their reflections against these four domains was applied to a biodiversity survey of tropical mountain streams in Trinidad. It was found that there is clear evidence that biological fieldwork can embrace a reflective methodology and that reflective practice can be used in fieldwork as a tool for making explicit that which is already implicit. A holistic vision of fieldwork is sketched out here, where the introduction of a balanced model of reflective practice can support an approach that moves beyond the consideration of the environment and the researcher as two separate entities and, instead, considers the relationship between environment and researcher.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-434
Number of pages17
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2015


  • Vitruvian Reflection
  • Biology
  • Reflective framework
  • Holistic
  • Domains of learning


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