Learning in a social context to develop reflective practitioners

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


Organisations that use project managers to deliver strategy rely on their skills learnt through formalised education, exposure to professional organisations and on-the-job experiences. To deliver the required outcomes, the project manager draws on this knowledge to manage the project through various stages. Taking time to embed the knowledge learnt from delivering a project is often overlooked in the race to complete the project.

A case study will be explored to demonstrate how project managers can become proficient performers through reflection-in-action in a social learning environment. The case study presents post graduate project management students at an Australian university who are exposed to a multi-faceted learning environment. The aim of this approach is for the student to develop problem solving skills that can be transferred to the workplace through reflective self-directed learning.

Underpinning the case study is a UK research study undertaken in 2006, referred to as the ‘Re-thinking Project Management’ study. This study identified the concerns of project management practitioners and how they need to develop from trained to reflective practitioners. To develop into reflective practitioners the impact of the social learning environment will be investigated and the criteria used to measure the reflective capability of a project manager will be identified.

This paper will demonstrate how learning in a social context develops reflective practitioners using an educational case study and a review of the supporting literature. A description of the essentials of reflective practice will be demonstrated through the work of Schön and earlier by Dewey. These essentials include a common language, systems to manage problems, sense-making theories and roles that describe tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of EDULEARN 12 Conference
Subtitle of host publication4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 2nd-4th, 2012 — Barcelona, Spain
EditorsL. Gómez Chov, I. Candel Torres, A. López Martínez
PublisherInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9788469534915
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 2 Jul 20124 Jul 2012


Conference4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies


  • Project management
  • knowledge exchange
  • experiential learning
  • reflective practice

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