3D Glasses: How Reflective Practitioners View the World

These 3D glasses represent the way reflective practitioners look at the world. A technical-rationalist view of the world is “flat” and “two-dimensional,” only seeing well-defined, easily solvable problems that have a technical solution. In that sense, technical-rationalists are “blind” to problems that do not fit this schema. A reflective practitioner can see in “3D,” seeing all the angles of a problem, no matter how complex it is. By problem setting, role clarification, etc., the reflective practitioner can reflect on ill-structured problems and get a “feel” about how to solve problems of a certain type. You can’t get a “feel” for things if they’re simply flat.

On the other hand, these glasses also indicate the limits of reflection-in-action. They seem to imply that the practitioner can only be reflective when s/he is wearing the glasses. The rest of the time, the practitioner may be stuck in a “flatter” way of approaching things, perhaps as dictated by the culture of his/her workplace or by his/her epistemology.

Glasses also serve the function of bringing clarity to the world, but these glasses are dirty and smudged, so there’s still some fuzziness in your vision. Reflective practitioners can accept some blurriness in the world.

Finally, one can wear different pairs of glasses at different times, representing different forms of reflection and different epistemologies that reflective practitioners can take on.



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