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A reflective essay articulating the students personal practice philosophy through critical reflection
on identified aspects of their experience whilst on the midwifery course. 40% (1500 words)
This assessment meets the following learning outcomes:
On completion of this unit you should be able to:
To achieve the learning outcome you must demonstrate the ability to:
Critically reflect on practice drawing on both theory and research to engender new and challenging insights into professional practice, both personal and occupational.
Critically evaluate the midwifery course experience as a basis for articulating personal values, and hence a personal practice philosophy.
Differentiate between management, leadership and supervisory aspects of practice issues in order to employ effective strategies for service improvement and practice development.
Identify a case study from practice and write a critical review that delineates the inherent management, supervisory and leadership themes for discussion, presenting recommendations for change/service improvement and drawing on relevant theory
Guidelines for this Assessment
Reflective essay – looking back, talking about feelings, experiences and the knowledge gained from those experiences both at the time and subsequently through reflection..
Emerging practitioner – a process of transformation – a process of becoming something – what were the key moments or the key values that both got you started on this journey in the first place and stood out along the way as moments of confirmation (of your values perhaps or your choice of profession) or moments of crisis (when your expectations, values etc were in jeopardy) or both.
Personal philosophy – attending to your vision – where has all this experience left you in terms of your beliefs about what good midwifery means?
This assignment is asking you to write a story – your story. It is the story of you becoming a midwife.
You have already started with your narrative – you have already written the bones of this.
The narrative (story) you write will be unique to you – it can start and end wherever and whenever you want it to – it does not have to just be about this course, as it will inevitably reflect other influences in your life.
As you write it, you will identify certain issues that were pertinent or important in your development as a midwife – and you will need to read around those issues. In this way, your narrative will of course be selective. You will choose to write about certain themes, and leave out other experiences and issues.
From analysis of these issues you will surface your own beliefs about desirable midwifery practice – this constitutes your philosophy. Your analysis of the issues that interest you in your narrative provides the backdrop, or context, for these beliefs. It may be that reflecting on your experiences enables you to articulate these beliefs for the first time, and facilitates a process of deeper exploration around any tensions between ‘desirable’ and ‘actual’ practice. Your philosophy encompasses your vision for personal practice in this way; it tells you what you are striving for.
Your beliefs about midwifery practice will be informed by your beliefs about humankind, social life, morality, politics, etc. They do not sit in a vacuum. If you analysed your philosophy, you would get back to these fundamental beliefs.
There is no one way that this assignment should ‘look’. Your philosophy may be a bullet point list, a couple of paragraphs or a diagram – whatever suits. The essay wrapped around it provides the personal story that explains your philosophy, as well as referring to the writing of others to deepen understanding of the issues within it that you discuss.
Hope this helps – use this as an opportunity to be as free as you want – remember that writing is a creative process – not just a recording of thoughts. The act of writing is itself a journey through ideas, and a dialogue with ourselves. The assessment will be looking at the sophistication of that dialogue and your ability to identify and analyse issues – it will be an assessment of your reflexivity and how you can apply this to your approach to practice.
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