3 Reflecting on practice
So far, we have been describing the range of work with young people; now we are going to reflect on it. You may wish to remind yourself of the distinction between description and reflection set out in Section 1. As you will recall, a description tells us what something is like, answering straightforward factual questions. We have just been looking at such factual questions as, ‘How many people are involved in work with young people?’, ‘Which sectors do they work in and which organisations have they worked for?’, and ‘Were they volunteers or paid staff?’ – and so on.
Reflection was defined (following the dictionary) as ‘to turn one’s thoughts (back) on … to ponder, meditate on’. It answers more complex questions, concerning reasons, motives, values purposes and judgements.
So far, then, we have looked principally at ways in which we might identify and describe practice settings. The next, more reflective, part of our discussion begins by attempting to discover some patterns within these settings.