Reflective practice in the arts

Mary Elizabeth Ryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


In creative disciplines, reflective practice is an integral and cumulative form of learning. Reflective learning generates knowledge that is specific to oneself and is a form of evidence upon which to analyse and change one's practice. Critical reflection requires a deep knowledge of the discipline and an awareness of one's positioning within that discipline and in relation to one's creative performance. Meaning making through performative expression allows for personal transformation through acute awareness of and reflection on one's own beliefs, knowledges and values through the process of creating artistic work. Self-awareness and identity are significant both in the study of the arts and in becoming an artist, as aesthetic inquiry and performance are constituted by subjective self-expression in relation to objective conditions. Reflection can be expressed using symbols or semiotic systems other than language. Depending on the disciplinary context, particular modes or forms of expression will be privileged, including material forms of practice, still and moving images, music and sound, live action and digital code. This chapter explores the problematics of what counts as reflection in the arts and how reflection is represented, expressed and performed in discursive and non-discursive ways in becoming arts literate.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiteracy in the Arts
Subtitle of host publicationRetheorising Learning and Teaching
EditorsGeorgina Barton
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319048468
ISBN (Print)3319048457, 9783319048451
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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