A new way of reflecting in nursing : the Peshkin Approach
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Aim. This paper is a report of a new approach to reflection in nursing and demonstrates its positive outcomes for student learning in clinical practice. Background. Reflection is a popular educational tool in nursing and most traditional reflective models take an incident as the starting point. We have developed a new approach that focuses on subjective thoughts and feelings. We were inspired by the work of Peshkin and his focus on the ‘subjective I’. For this reason, we have termed this new way of reflecting ‘The Peshkin Approach’. Data sources. Eight nursing students kept a reflective diary during a 6-week clinical placement in 2008. The focus was on recording their thoughts and feelings. They analysed the diary entries using a systematic approach. The aim was to identify aspects of their subjectivity influencing them in clinical practice. Discussion. Through analysis of journal entries, the students became aware of the subjective I’s that were influencing their experiences. They found the advantages of the approach to be twofold: increased self-awareness and enhanced learning. Conclusion. Maintaining a reflective journal that focuses on subjectivity can enhance the clinical experiences of nursing students. We advocate this new approach as complementary to more traditional forms of reflection and argue for its incorporation into nurse education programmes. In comparison to traditional reflective models that we have used, the Peshkin Approach to Reflection has significant advantages in terms of promoting student learning in clinical practice. We hope the approach can be critiqued and developed further by those interested in enhancing nurse education.