#critlib chat on Critical Reflection, 12/19/2016

See http://critlib.org/critical-reflection-chat/ for announcement, discussion questions, suggested readings, and sample questions for reflective writing. Further readings will be shared in a forthcoming post at openbooklibrarian.wordpress.com

  1. A few participants wrote blog posts and tweets on critical reflection before the chat:

  2. #critlib @lisahubbell Personally I agree with Brookfield's (1995 pp.186-189) arguments seeing theory as an aid to critical reflection.
  3. #critlib @lisahubbell In particular to reframe our problems away from our natural "pragmatic fixation on the puzzles of our own practice".
  4. #critlib @lisahubbell In practice I tend not to say "theory" due to the interesting (theoretical) positions some folk take toward it.
  5. #critlib @lisahubbell Instead I think about values, how those values are embodied in practice, & how we reflect critically on practices.
  6. The chat opened with a brief nod to codes of conduct:

  7. #critlib, I'm one of the founding mods, popping in to say that altho we have no established CoC, we appreciate a culture of hospitality. 1/3
  8. #critlib 2/3 There are no set rules in this community, but it is a community.
  9. #critlib I’m helping out today so @lisahubbell can focus on the Qs. I’m avlbl if folks have concerns even abt me! leslzine@gmail or here 3/3
  10. Q1. How/when do you build in time to reflect on your own work/praxis? Frequently, sporadically, in certain settings/circumstances?

  11. A1. One benefit of being an academic librarian is being required to research, so I make this part of designated research time #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810923915216199680 
  12. A1 I build reminders in daily but don't actually _do_ intentional reflection daily. So sporadically, yet still pretty frequently. #critlib
  13. #critlib A1 As and when I can do it - generally short bursts of time that are reserved for this specific practice.
  14. #critlib A1 Asking "why" is always more challenging tho. Lessons learned are easier to deliberately build into operational work & projects.
  15. Hey #critlib, lurking and interested. Academic librarian in Pennsylvania. I try to reflect often, usually in notes scribbled in notebooks.
  16. A1. I try to be a bit reflective even in looking back over daily to-do lists. Sometimes easier personally than professionally. #critlib
  17. @lisahubbell Great idea, especially since my to-dos are a sort of diary. Looking over might hlp ID how/where I spend my energies #critlib
  18. @beccakatharine @lisahubbell I started using a planner this year that is helping me merge these activities (to-dos + reflection) #critlib
  19. I like to look for inspiration on Fridays and reflect on praxis on Mondays when I'm fresh #critlib
  20. A1: I schedule time on my calendar to journal/reflect after instruction sessions. #critlib
  21. @riqbd Do you ever go back and re-read them? How do you use that journaling? #critlib
  22. @beccakatharine I do! Re-reading my entries has helped me identify ways to improve my teaching. Super helpful to compare similar classes.
  23. A1: Given I'm the type who never stops thinking, it tends to be all over the place outside of work hours: bathing, cooking, etc #critlib
  24. @metageeky Totally. Shower thoughts often inspire what I really need to work on. #critlib
  25. Lots of Q1 responses about shared reflection with colleagues:

  26. A1 Having a monthly reading group at work that emphasizes critical readings has helped keep #critlib off the backburner
  27. @AlicePrael Great practice. Any readings that have sparked good discussions? #critlib
  28. @lisahubbell @helrond's Archivists as Maintainers & Jarrett Drake's RadTech meets RadArch were great #critlib
  29. A1: I spend a lot of afternoons in @zoh_zoh's office doorway talking about what we could do differently/better in our work. #critlib
  30. A2. We also build in reflective questions throughout the year in department meetings, sometimes in all staff retreats #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810923915216199680 
  31. A1: In my new role, I'm trying to work reflective praxis into our monthly division meetings. We'll see how that ends up going! #critlib
  32. A1. Supervising LIS grad assistants is my built in reflection bc they ask great Qs. Makes me re-think, re-see, etc. #critlib
  33. @lisalibrarian Such a great reminder, along w those re sharing readings w colleagues. Want to do this more intentionally w asst. #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisalibrarian/status/810925527280340992 
  34. A1: For those who supervise or coordinate: how do you build in time to reflect with your team? To encourage their reflection too? #critlib
  35. @beccakatharine A1. Have been checking in w asst weekly when schedules overlap, more about projects but could build in reflection. #critlib
  36. @beccakatharine Agenda item on monthly infolit cmmttee mtg is "Acclamations+Accolades" - to highlight, celebrate+learn fr successes #critlib
  37. A1: Since we work in a collaboritve workspace, we like to debrief after teaching classes to find out what worked/ did not go well #critlib
  38. . @beccakatharine while I don’t directly supervisor student workers, I make it a point to ask how things are going & ask for insight
  39. I love chatting with my peers & colleagues (no matter where they are) to just talk about what we’re doing & how it impacts our practice.
  40. @beccakatharine I try to follow up with @Badgersssss & co. on a daily basis to talk about the "why" of what we do, but v. informal. #critlib
  41. @beccakatharine Also, @zoh_zoh had all of our teaching folks write up a reflection of the best/worst classes of the term. #critlib
  42. @kevinseeber @beccakatharine here are the reflection questions that I created for our teaching team, the answers were v thoughtful! #critlib https://t.co/Wwz7OZJx2k
    @kevinseeber @beccakatharine here are the reflection questions that I created for our teaching team, the answers were v thoughtful! #critlib pic.twitter.com/Wwz7OZJx2k
  43. @beccakatharine A1 #critlib preferences in my team for reflective practice methods vary hugely; haven't been able to do this (yet).
  44. @preater @beccakatharine When I worked in #museums we had a monthly reading club open to all depts, focusing on user needs/research #critlib
  45. @lisahubbell This sounds *great*, have a had a few exploratory discussions abt a reading group / journal club at work. @beccakatharine
  46. How do you keep this separate from evaluation? Do supervisees feel comfortable reflecting openly with their boss? #critlib  https://twitter.com/beccakatharine/status/810926009323311104 
  47. @kevinseeber @zinelib yeah, good qs. I think it's VERY helpful that no one reports to me, I think it allows ppl to be more open #critlib
  48. @zoh_zoh @kevinseeber @zinelib agreed - i coordinate, not supervise, I hope that makes me approachable as an ally in reflection #critlib
  49. A few comments on inviting feedback from students:

  50. A2.1 We've been toying with using "exit tickets" to hear directly from students, too; Tech issues currently, but good potential. #critlib
  51. @foureyedsoul I've been doing a post instruction survey to get immediate input directly from students. Short 10 Q online form #critlib
  52. @IreneKorber Cool! Very close to what we want to do. Main constraint is that most students have phone internet access, not laptops. #critlib
  53. @foureyedsoul We have a classroom in the library outfitted with laptops, in which we do majority of our IL instruction. Helps a lot #critlib
  54. @zinelib @kellywooten If anyone wants to blog or DM Qs to students, I'd be happy to send out later w Storify & further readings. #critlib
  55. Q2. Have you found any tools, practices, habits that spur such reflection for you? Is your approach more structured or free-form?

  56. A2: Sometimes I like to read an article that looks interesting, take notes, and reflect on how it fits within my practice. #critlib
  57. A1/A2: I try to track down at least one good article to read a week and use that to launch reflection. #critlib
  58. A2 Both. Some is prompted by my readings, some by discussions here and elsewhere. Interactivity works better than journaling for me #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810926391399043072 
  59. A2 After instruction, a few minutes writing about the "muddiest point" for me & students works well!  http://www.washington.edu/teaching/2015/02/02/reflecting/  #critlib
  60. A2. When I can carve out the time, blogging has been very helpful for me to think about my work and air ideas. #critlib
  61. #critlib A2 IME the challenge is in the critical: finding the right methods / questions to foster a critically reflective approach...
  62. #critlib A2 So: it's the right questions within a framework of (critically) unpicking underlying assumptions and values.
  63. #critlib A2 No-one's asking for a reading list, but Gardner 'Being critically reflective' + Bolton 'Reflective Practice' is what I do.
  64. A2: I have found a great deal of comfort checking in w friends from my former job b/c we dont have the "pressing" work to discuss #critlib
  65. #critlib A2: I think small group reflection can work well. I won't get to it on my own, but not always comfy with the whole staff at once.
  66. Q3. Do you examine your work, strivings, failures in light of specific theories, models, questions? How do you engage with them?

  67. A1 At the same time, I come from an engineering track that emphasized reflective practice heavily #critlib
  68. @preater For the design engineering perspective, Schön's "The reflective practitioner" #critlib
  69. @donnarosemary Schon is one of the major scholars on the topic. UW's Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching has some too #critlib
  70. A3: (I thought I'd be lurking). I use Value Sensitive Design in a lot of my thinking and work, albeit informally a lot #critlib
  71. It's iterative process has me always cycling back to see if I'm doing what is really needed/right #critlib
  72. A3. I find Brookfield's critical incident questionnaire useful both re teaching & awkward interactions #critlib  http://www.stephenbrookfield.com/ciq/ 
  73. A3 I think I'm more values based than model/theory based? But I'm also Buddhist, and that sort of combines all of the above #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810928703240736768 
  74. A3. That said, I am definitely influenced by theories-- Kraschen/Vygotsky for teaching, intersectional feminism for planning, etc #critlib
  75. @kevinseeber (reading now) aw can't believe you saved the URL to that tweet--your attribution game humbles me 💕 #critlib
  76. A3.2 But if we're talking theory, Kapitzke's "outformation" is the one that continues to inspire me as a teaching librarian. #critlib
  77. A4: As I'm building our IL assessment plan, the guiding question I'm using is "what do we value?" #critlib
  78. @beccakatharine I would add in "How do those values interplay? Are those values shared by/important to all stakeholders?" #critlib
  79. @beccakatharine Stakeholder part is important. In my work on invisible disabilities, I found that while educators valued diversity #critlib
  80. @beccakatharine ...individual students with IDs valued more privacy and a sense of normalcy/belonging #critlib
  81. I’ve recently been thinking about the idea of “demystifying.” How does my work help students understand and find info better? #critlib
  82. #critlib A3 IMO it is all about attempting to make espoused values versus values-in-practice more congruent.
  83. @preater Yes. What inspires me? What do I personally aspire to? How do I still fall short? Any steps to acting on that/improving? #critlib
  84. @lisahubbell @preater I self admit that I get motivated by seeing others be happy/benefit from what I fight for. #critlib
  85. Bolman/Deal leadership frames. Lave/Wenger community of practice. Brookfield reflective practitioner. Personal teaching philosophy #critlib
  86. A4: @lisalibrarian I intro'ed my LIS students to Bolman/Deal this semester and found it resonated so much (with them AND with me!) #critlib
  87. A3 On a teaching level, John Bean's _Engaging Ideas_ has lots of tools & inspiration.  http://worldcat.org/oclc/727047950  #critlib
  88. A3.1 Also, I use a lot of ideas/ethos from cultural studies; Can't quite unpack that or list authors even in a string of tweets. #critlib
  89. I think I judge my actions in consequentialist manner with the major goal/end being access to useful information #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810928703240736768 
  90. @glam_librarian Can you say a bit more about consequentialism? What does this look like in practice? #critlib
  91. @lisahubbell Consequentialism is a moral theory that states that the moral worth of action comes from its outcomes (if they are good or not)
  92. @lisahubbell the most popular form of Consequentialism is utilitarianism. But instead of judging an action on utility I think about access
  93. @lisahubbell examples: creating metadata is good because it creates access. Cutting databases is bad because it reduces access
  94. @lisahubbell in weeding you have reduce access to certain books to create more relevant access
  95. A3 - Oh, and the 5 perspectives in the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (free "test" online)! #critlib
  96. @lisalibrarian Will look into this to add to reading list. Let me know if you have a URL or favorite citation. #critlib
  97. @beccakatharine @lisahubbell My fav part is how it juxtaposes your beliefs, intentions+actions. Check for alignment/show gaps. #critlib
  98. #critlib A3 While I'm here I'll go right ahead and reject a theory-practice false binary. :) "Theory" can be our body of knowledge.
  99. #critlib A3 'Theorising' can mean developing said body of knowledge. Grounded in the concrete; in lived experience.
  100. Comments on religion and reflective practice:

  101. It's interesting to me that folks are bringing in reflections ideas inspired by their religious faiths. Political faiths, too? #critlib
  102. @zinelib Oh, definitely. My politics kind of boil down to "liberation, for all of us" & "none of us is free until we're all free" #critlib
  103. @zinelib if some1 jumps on this, yay, but if not, this is something I cld do in collab w @mariataccardi after I have my baby nxt yr #critlib
  104. Q4. What challenges or obstacles do you encounter in using critical reflection in practice? How do you overcome them?

  105. A4: standard response to obstacles: the limits of space-time #critlib
  106. A4: Time, time, time. It needs to be prioritized, scheduled, worked into daily operations (for me). #critlib
  107. A4 Time—so I do my best to schedule reflection throughout the day. The pomodoro technique helps somewhat. #critlib  http://cirillocompany.de/pages/pomodoro-technique/ 
  108. I usually am re-energized when I reflect. Sometimes it’s hard to take that energy and bring it into reality. #critlib
  109. @hailthefargoats Agree! Then I tend to get anxious abt the time "lost" reflecting #critlib
  110. . @foreverhoward sometimes I have a hard time communicating my reflection to others (getting them on board to try st new) #critlib
  111. A4: Getting caught up in day-to-day foolishness, "putting out fires," distracts me from Big Picture reflection and action. #critlib
  112. @kevinseeber This is exactly why I try to build critical reflection into more small things like to-do lists. #critlib
  113. A4: Getting buy-in from the massive, unwieldy medical school. Medicine, like librarianship, is steeped in "always done this way" #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810932497315872768 
  114. A4 One of my hats is assessment coordinator. It is VERY HARD to convince administrators to take a reflective approach to assessment #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810932497315872768 
  115. @schomj Let alone the value of formative assessment over summative, right? #critlib
  116. @metageeky in library work, especially non-instruction related stuff? oh yeah #critlib
  117. @schomj Do you think this is bc for many ppl "reflect"="command to spend lots of time"? Can we envision low-time reflect methods? #critlib
  118. @lisalibrarian @schomj or we could be honest that reflection takes time and is worth doing
  119. @lisalibrarian @schomj I like to think of "low-time" reflection as safeguards against little fires becoming infernos #critlib
  120. @lisalibrarian Low-time reflection methods... IDK. I'm afraid if the conversation shifted that way, the focus would be on hurrying #critlib
  121. @schomj I was thinking more as way for ppl to see benefit of reflection. Motivates doing more by starting small. #critlib
  122. @lisalibrarian higher ed assessment is built to count things, like time spent, not problems averted / realizations achieved #critlib
  123. @lisalibrarian My background is in tech services, too, which impacts the kinds of assessment conversations I have #critlib
  124. A4: It's sometimes hard not to deflect (blaming the student's engagement or the professor) instead of critically looking inward. #critlib
  125. #critlib A4 identifying problems being much easier than identifying and implementing the right changes to improve things.
  126. #critlib A4 Making it double-loop learning rather than single loop. Asking the critically reflective questions.
  127. Q4: actually being critically reflective instead of just being reflective #critlib
  128. @riqbd curious if you can unpack difference you see? I see this distinction fair bit + don't quite get what's the point being made. #critlib
  129. @lisalibrarian asking myself why- why did I do it? did it work well? how can I change? Otherwise, I get caught in just recounting #critlib
  130. @riqbd ok. I guess I wouldn't see "recounting" as reflection. but, I can get your point. #critlib
  131. Q5. Does reflection propel you to shift your thinking, to take action? By itself, or combined with other input?

  132. A5 Yes. So much yes. Realizing that I needed to build reflection time into my schedule has helped me be kinder, among other things #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/810934716614356992 
  133. A5: I like to pair individual reflection with small group discussion. I like collaborating and bringing in others’ reflections. #critlib
  134. A5. My research has found that critical reflection has a profound impact on librarian purpose & motivation. #critlib  http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/td/1054/ 
  135. A5 It propels change when I make sure to ask "how" questions, i.e. "what useful interventions can be made, given X,Y constraints?" #critlib
  136. A5. Doing reflective writing regularly forces me to SEE the holes I'm digging & sooner rather than later strategize a way out. #critlib
  137. .@lisahubbell Yes! Also what I get out of mindfulness practices I've tried: improving pattern recognition & faster realignment #critlib
  138. @lisalibrarian Actually took tai chi for a couple years as "PE" in undergrad! Also remember small things from:  http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/757483928 
  139. @lisalibrarian Sure! I've also read really useful things from Thích Nhất Hạnh, but can't remember what exactly. Will share if I can recall.
  140. A5. Other input, from multiple sources: What other people might call serendipity, I often take as a lesson to pay attention to. #critlb
  141. A5: I find that reflection often manifests itself subtly. A ton of thought might manifest itself by changing a word or two in class #critlib
  142. Took weeks to think "…minimize conscious & unconscious bias…" & "objectivity is more of a spectrum than a binary" to #infolit video #critlib  https://twitter.com/kevinseeber/status/810935991171022848 
  143. A5.2. Reflection also manifests itself in big ways. Like, I don't know, renouncing your professional organization? #hypothetical #critlib
  144. #critlib also remember reflection big, small, or critical is not an instant gratification -- reflection is a process not an output/outcome
  145. @l1brar1an So true! Sticking with it, same questions come back around in cyclical ways. Plenty of opportunities to keep growing. #critlib
  146. @lisahubbell also the transformative aspect of reflection is often carried in our heads/hearts not simply the writing on the page #critlib
  147. @l1brar1an Absolutely. I find writing a gateway to carrying something in heart & mind, letting it keep working on me over time. #critlib
  148. Anybody have a #critpitch for an upcoming event, job opening, etc.?

  149. Oh @lisahubbell's mention of job ops in #critlib #critpitch reminds me: we're hiring 2 TT instruction lib*ns, jobs to be posted after new yr
  150. In full transparency,reg working hrs will be 1-9pm M-F, but fac status, benefits, profdev, fac union all pt of package #critlib #critpitch +
  151. + I'll be sharing anouncement after new year so keep eye out for it! Would love citical lib*ns to apply #critlib #critpitch
  152. I’m happy to Storify #critlib this time, & send out soon with further readings. Any other faves on critical reflection to add to the list?
  153. My #critlib pitch ... I'm the editor of Library Trends starting Jan 1, 2017. Every issue a special topic issue - have one you want to edit?
  154. Closing comments:

  155. Thanks @lisahubbell for leading a great #critlib and to some lurkers for delurking! I bet the lurking lurkers lurked reflectively, as well.
  156. @zinelib Yes. And if lurking was due to the fast pace, or if more thoughts percolate for any participants, feel free to blog & tag #critlib
  157. Ok, now must close teh twitterz so I can go get schtuff done before my shift ends...fabulous #critlib chat, thanks for modding @lisahubbell!
  158. Thanks to all #critlib participants and lurkers. Grateful for your inspiration, examples, questions, references.
  159. omg, the #critlib was about critical reflection?? now I am super sad I missed it, but very very excited for the storify.
  160. Really disappointed to miss today's #critlib on reflective practice. Thanks to @lisahubbell for making it happen!