Moving from patches to quilts: developing self aware, reflective leaders through curriculum innovation based on a Patchwork Text approach

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Abstract

A Patchwork Text is a creative approach to learning and assessment based on short pieces of reflective writing to promote deep, meaningful reflection. A five-year study was undertaken to explore whether this approach supports post graduate students’ personal and academic development and the factors that influenced student experience, within one UK university. Our adapted approach encompasses patches of reflection, a structured Reflective Journal, formative feedback and action learning within a constructively aligned curriculum. Between 2010 - 2015, one hundred students attended the MSc Leadership Development programme and 71% (n=71) completed a questionnaire at the end of the first module. The questionnaire contained mainly open questions. The overwhelming majority of responses (89% n= 63) reported their experience of action learning was extremely positive. Eighty-five per cent (n=58) reported that the Patchwork Text approach supported their academic development. Seventy-five per cent (n=52) agreed the approach was helpful in relation to their summative assessment which comprised a reflective integrated portfolio. Thematic framework analysis of the qualitative data suggests the Patchwork Text approach increased self-awareness and insight; deepened and promoted on-going reflection; facilitated critical thinking, analysis and synthesis thereby enabling completion of the summative assignment. In conclusion, findings suggest the adapted Patchwork Text approach increased student’s self-awareness as well as supporting them with both their summative assignment and development of academic writing skills.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReflective Practice
Early online date16 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • reflection
  • reflective leaders
  • patchwork text
  • academic confidence
  • action learning
  • leadership

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