Introduction: Reflective and reflexive approaches in higher education: A warrant for lifelong learning?

Mary Ryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In our complex and incongruous world, where variety produces more variety, and there is no blueprint for dealing with unprecedented change, it is imperative that individuals develop reflexive approaches to life and learning. Higher education has a role to play in guiding students to be self-analysts, with the ability to examine and mediate self and context for improved outcomes. This chapter elucidates the catchphrase of lifelong learning and its enactment in higher education. Theories of reflexivity and personal epistemology are utilised to provide the conceptual tools to understand the ways in which individuals manage competing influences and deliberate about action in their learning journey. The case is made for the integral role of higher education teachers in developing students’ capacities for reflective thinking and reflexive approaches to learning as a life project.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Reflective Learning in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationA Systematic Approach Using Pedagogic Patterns
EditorsMary Elizabeth Ryan
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319092713
ISBN (Print)9783319092706
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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