Social Reflection Series: John (2000)

John (2000)

John (2000) is useful in helping our understanding of how we actually reflect on issues and as such may provide a useful addition to the structure of reflection suggested by Jarvis.



Again it is important to note here that context is king.  As reflection is an internal (as well as potentially externally directed e.g. to a mentor) it is impacted upon by our emotions.  This may mean that we are unable to clearly structure our reflection, especially if the emotion is highly charged.  This is interesting considering this was produced for nurses to reflect and may be why ’space’ and ‘focus’ is required specifically in the model.  Never the less this is likely to be useful in all situations, especially a removal of the immediate situation at work, as it dedicated time and effort to the reflective process.

Despite this John (2000) suggests that we need to both “Look in” and “Look out” when we evaluate our position in social situations and how we fit into the world. Ultimately we need to try and make sense of what happens around us in order to make use of the experience and develop from it down the line.  This suggests to that this is additional and separate from our own internal feelings and perceptions of the situation we are evaluating.

Unfortunately due to our bias processing of personal events, obtaining a subjective view of the situation, without being influenced by our thoughts and feelings is difficult.  This is perhaps why a mentor or independent person is required to provide a degree of objectivity and indeed people are observed to find talking about their problems easier.  Yet this person would really have had to experience the situation in question, in order to provide the subjectivity discussed here.  As such it is suggested that “looking out” is more difficult than it initially seems and again, highly personal.

This issue of subjectivity runs throughout John’s (2000) theory, where of course people’s view on empirical analysis also differs greatly.  Does this mean that using this model we are furthering our subjective view of the world and can this actually lead to an insightful reflection if it is subject to our own minds as gatekeepers to the process?  Subjectivity is undoubtedly necessary for our internal understanding and despite the risk of an insular conclusion from reflection John’s (2000) model provides a useful and basic structure to begin the reflective process, which is summarised in the following points:

1.  Find a space and think about how you are feeling and what you are thinking about how things went
2.  What happened in the situation and how were the people involved feeling?
3.  Why did I feel the way I did?
4.  Did I act for the best and what was the best way?
5.  What knowledge or experience could have informed my decision and actions here?
6.  What could I do better and how would this make me feel?

Related Articles:

The Reflection in Social Marketing Series;

Part 1 – Reflection in Social Marketing

Part 2 – The Myers Briggs Indicator

Part 3 – Kolb and Fry’s (1975) reflection model

Part 4 – Johns (2000) model of reflection

Part 5 – Jarvis (1994) and Conclusions

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