What a difference a day makes: reflection retreats as academic development in higher education

Marina Harvey*, Panos Vlachopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A growing body of research supports the learning and teaching of reflective practice in higher education; however, the application of reflective skills beyond the classroom, and specifically in professional development, is underdeveloped. While the value of reflective practice may not be clearly apparent for academic and professional staff, universities as complex organisations are searching for effective catalysts and supports for development and change. Reflective practice may be this catalyst and support. This paper introduces a new epistemological spectrum of approaches to reflection and examines a range of reflective activities from across the spectrum for their potential application in academic development. A mixed methods research approach generated findings from two reflection retreats: one for Australian university staff and one for Chinese academics. While some similarities and differences were identified across both groups, it is suggested that reflective practice activities can be a catalyst for positive academic and professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-392
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Issue number3
Early online date29 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • academic development
  • professional development
  • reflection
  • reflective practice


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