Archive for February, 2012

Inside the upper deck on one of Hong Kong’s classic streetcars – narrow and old, they are full of character. And only 20p per ride!


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Hong Kong – my first visit, and so I’m luxuriating in all the first impressions of sight, sound and smell that define a place, and which we cannot notice after a certain time.

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Not sure what happened on Day 22, I seem to have missed out an image – or perhaps something got lost in the loading. Anyway, this was the image intended for that day. Oxfordshire field mud, holding memories of those who have passed through it.

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The normally pristine and stately Garden Common Room has temporarily been transformed into what looks like the tent city outside St Paul’s while they fix the water-damaged ceiling. Sometimes the fact that this is a 150 year-old building is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, the main reception area now has several large sofas for people to use while they wait for their taxis and so on…


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Just over a year ago I undertook another month-long challenge on this blog. Rather than a different photo each day I undertook to follow a fairly long interview protocol designed to explore and reflect on my own personal narrative.

The second post of that sequence was a pre-amble, a word or two about definitions and various models of reflection, by way of setting the scene for what was to come next. The model I mentioned in that post, that of Atkins and Murphy developed in nursing training, and I have noticed that even after 12 months it still receives a steady stream of hits.Atkins and Murphy, it seems, is fairly often searched for on Google.

This prompted me to revisit that blog entry and see what I had said, and whether my thinking has changed since. As to what I wrote, I’m actually quite pleased with it – I think what I said makes some sense and holds together. At the same time, my feeling about models has changed. I’m no longer so sure that they are the be-all and end-all for understanding reflection. Do people really follow the phases, and if they don’t, well does that mean they’re not reflecting? Do we shoe-horn what is actually happening into these labels and categorisations?

I’m sure that a model can be helpful up to a point, but is also an invitation to miss both the subtlety of the learning process and the myriad elements which just don’t fit on the page or the in the paradigm of the researchers who came up with it. In the Atkins and Murphy case, ultimately it boils down to a mix of good ol’ North American pragmatism/behaviourism/scientific method (echoes of Kolb) mixed with a dash of mild critical reflection that can incorporate a questioning of underlying assumptions and inclusion of room for emotion and feeling.

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This is the entrance hall at Greenlands, with the reception desk this evening under the control of Jenny. It’s everyone’s second impression of Henley (the first is the view of the house at the end of the long drive), and therefore it’s a very important part of whatever makes Henley the experience it is.


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