The role of reflection in audiology students’ development as professional practitioners: A constructivist grounded theory
Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching
Speech Pathology and Audiology
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AbstractAudiology is a young health profession striving toward a value for and use of evidence-based practice (EBP). Currently within audiology, there is a lack of attention to a complementary epistemology of practice; that is, one that explicitly values experience as a valid and important source of knowledge, worthy of theoretical and empirical scholarly attention. The current study addresses this gap using a constructivist grounded theory approach to explore the research question: How is reflection enacted and implicated in audiology students’ development as professional practitioners? A total of 18 participants contributed data to this study (13 audiology students from a single cohort, three clinical faculty members, and two clinical supervisors). Methods included elicitation of guided written reflections from student participants and intensive interviews with students and clinical faculty/supervisors. These methods were repeated three times, from the beginning of the students’ graduate audiology education into their first two to four months of professional practice. Constant comparative analysis was performed and reflexivity emphasized. A constructivist grounded theory of the evolving practitioner, supported by reflective processes, posits the following and their relationships: 1) reflection as a window into the student/new practitioner experience, 2) reflection as a tool for students/new practitioners, 3) the nature of reflection as a developing behaviour, and 4) audiology students’ evolution as professional practitioners. This theory may be referred to as Reflection in the Education and Socialization of Practitioners: Novice Development (RESPoND). This work offers a contribution to the empirical literature on reflection and reflective practice in the health professions and to the sparse body of literature on audiology education. Implications, strengths, and limitations are discussed and next steps for related research suggested.