n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Facilitation of reflective learning in nursing : reflective teaching practices of educators - article

Volume 20 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055



The ability to reflect meaningfully may help practitioners or students to maintain competence and keep abreast with the latest trends in their practice. Practitioners who are more self-aware or self-discovered are more effective and competent in practice. However, unless educators are trained to practise reflection and to facilitate activities that promote the development of reflective learners, the role of the educator in promoting reflective learning by students will be limited. The purpose of this study was to explore and to describe the role of educators in the facilitation of reflective learning by students. A quantitative, explorative, descriptive study was conducted at nine nursing education institutions in South Africa. A total of 121 nurse educators (n = 121) was selected through a multi-staged probability sampling method. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. The findings revealed that educators recognise the value of reflective practice but did not necessarily strive to develop their own reflective practices. Although reflective learning was not a formal learning approach in most programmes, the educators included reflection in the teaching and learning activities they facilitated. Educators need formal training to facilitate reflective learning activities to create a reflective learning environment that is conducive to reflection. Reflective learning should also be a formal teaching and learning approach in nursing curricula as reflective practices promote students’ critical and creative thinking.

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