The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think In Action

The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think In Action

Donald A. Schon

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0465068782

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A leading M.I.T. social scientist and consultant examines five professions—engineering, architecture, management, psychotherapy, and town planning—to show how professionals really go about solving problems.The best professionals, Donald Schön maintains, know more than they can put into words. To meet the challenges of their work, they rely less on formulas learned in graduate school than on the kind of improvisation learned in practice. This unarticulated, largely unexamined process is the subject of Schön’s provocatively original book, an effort to show precisely how ”reflection-in-action” works and how this vital creativity might be fostered in future professionals.












reflects the division between theory and practice. The division also appears in the location of training and in medical school facilities. The sciences of biochemistry, physiology, pathology and pharmacology are learned from classrooms and laboratories, that is, in formal academic settings. More practical training, in clinical arts such as internal medicine, obstetrics and pediatrics, takes place in hospital clinics, within actual institutions of delivery.22 And teaching roles tend to reflect

try, and new ways of helping him learn addition. The lesson plan must be put aside then, or else it must become a rough ground plan for action, a skeleton around which the teacher develops variations according to her on-the-spot understanding of the problems of particular students. Curriculum becomes an inventory of themes of understanding and skill to be addressed rather than a set of materials to be learned. Different students present different phenomena for understanding and action. Each

“transaction” derives from the work of John Dewey. See A. F. Bentley and John Dewey, Knowing the Known (Boston: Beacon Press, 1949). 10. The phrase is from Geoffrey Vickers, unpublished memorandum, MIT, 1978. 11. Lisa Peattie introduced me to this term. 12. See Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958). Chapter 6 1. Nathan Glazer, “Schools of the Minor Professions,” Minerva, (1974): 348. 2. See William Schwartz and Stephen Pauker et. al., “Toward the

must fit one another. In her sketches she has tried the experiment of “butting” the shape of her building into the contours of the slope, but the experiment has failed; hence the problem. Petra has also experimented with the size and arrangement of her classroom units. She has found that classrooms must reach a threshold of scale in order to be “significant” enough for design. By regrouping the six smaller classroom units into three large L-shaped ones, she has tried for “more significant

introduction of a grid, amplified. Semiconductors rectified. Therefore somehow, they should be able to amplify.6 Some researchers proposed inserting a grid into a semiconductor diode but, owing to the extreme thinness of the rectifying area, they were unable to do so. Meanwhile a theory was taking shape which scientists would later see as an explanation of part of the behavior of semiconductors. This was A. H. Wilson’s quantum mechanical model of a solid semiconductor, published in 1931. Wilson

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