How can ‘disorientating dilemmas’ assist in the development of reflective educators?

Dianne Burns, Jessica Grundy, Bipasha Choudhury, Fiona Kevan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


As clinicians within our own disciplines, we develop a strong sense of our identity within that discipline. Developing an equally strong parallel identity as an educator in our respective fields is not so intuitive. Within each of our spheres of clinical practise, we are taught to reflect on our practise in order that we continue to develop as healthcare professionals. We must be mindful of our own strengths and needs and look to the body of literature for evidence of best practice to inform our professional development.
The responsibility we promise to upkeep when we register with our professional bodies, to support the learning of future generations who enter our professions, is often presumed to evolve with time. Exploring ‘disorientating dilemmas’ (1) can help us develop as not only as clinicians, but also as educators: reflecting on challenging situations whereby it isn’t clear what the best way forward is.
Applying the concepts of critical reflective practise and transformational learning, we develop our teaching practise towards the ultimate goal of effective teaching. Evidence-based teaching methods and adult learning theory influence our teaching practise and thus ensure more effective learning. Whether supporting learners or patients and their families, a wise medical or healthcare educator is invested in supporting others to take ownership of their own learning.
In our workshop, we invite participants to identify their own ‘disorientating dilemma’ and begin to reflect upon their journey as a reflective educator.
1. Mezirow, J. Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication
PublisherAcademy of Medical Educators
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2023


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