Natural Sciences

Three Models of reflection

Greater Manchester AHP/HCS Life Long Learning Project Team.  3 Models of reflection. Available URL Accessed 24th January 2016.

Document defines John’s Model of Reflection. The model is based on 5 questions allowing the researcher to reflect on the process and outcome of research and also breakdown the experience of the practicing reflective researcher/practitioner. John’s model of reflection asks the researcher to: Describe the experience and the significant factors, reflect by asking what they were trying to achieve and what were the consequences, influencing factors that effected decision making, what were the other choices in the project and the consequences of not using, and finally what will change because of this experience and how did the scientist feel about the experience. John’s model asks how those experience change the researcher’s way of knowing in the following areas: Empirics- Scientific, Ethics- moral knowledge, Personal- Self-awareness, and Aesthetics- the art of what we do, and our own experiences. John’s model is based on the works of Carper (1978).


A holistic approach to fieldwork through balanced reflective practice

Erik Blair & Amy Deacon (2015) A holistic approach to fieldwork through balanced reflective practice, Reflective Practice, 16:3, 418-434, DOI:10.1080/14623943.2015.1052388

Reflective practice has been associated with social sciences for some time and involves the integration of theoretical constructs and practical action. The authors implore the question, why is reflective practice absent in the natural sciences when theory and action often co-exist and it is hypothesized the reintroduction of reflective practice will enhance the process of constructive field work and data collection.  The study designed a reflective practice model using four domains; cognitive, psychomotor, affective and conative aspects of practice. Practitioners were asked to log their reflections against the four domains to a biodiversity survey of tropical mountain streams in Trinidad. The results found clear evidence that biological fieldwork can encompass a reflective methodology and used in fieldwork as a tool for making explicit that which is already implicit. It is suggested instead of considering the environment and the researcher’s mind as two separate entities, consider how the environment is experienced by the researcher.

Community‐Based Participatory Research: Assessing the Evidence

Viswanathan, M., A. Ammerman, E. Eng, G. Garlehner, K.N. Lohr, D. Griffith, S. Rhodes, et al. 2004. “CommunityBased Participatory Research: Assessing the Evidence,” August.

Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) is a participatory approach to research that is meant to increase the value of studies for both researchers and the communities being studied. When done properly, CBPR creates bridges between scientist and communities through the use of shared knowledge and valuable experiences. The advantages of using this approach in research are explained. This is a summary of the work commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to do a review of the community-based participatory research and its role in the improvement of community health. Four key questions were identified to do this review. They included finding out the definition of community-based participatory research, methods of implementation, the intended outcomes of this approach, and the criteria that should be used to review community-based participatory approach in grant proposals. The report then discusses the answers to these questions based on the research done with community research partners, academic researchers and research financiers and through the use of different data sources. Recommendations for scientists planning to use community-based participatory approach in the future are given such as creating a balance between research methodologies and community collaboration.

Decolonizing Methodologies and Indigenous Knowledge: The Role of Culture, Place and Personal Experience in Professional Development

Chinn, Pauline WU. “Decolonizing Methodologies and Indigenous Knowledge: The Role of Culture, Place and Personal Experience in Professional Development.” Journal of Research in Science Teaching 44, no. 9 (2007): 1247–68.

This article analyzes the findings of a professional development program attended by educators from different countries in relation to use of local knowledge and practices. The nineteen participants, international science and mathematics educators, explored the roles of culture, place, and personal experience in science education through writings and group discussions. They also viewed a presentation on Indigenous Hawaiian practices related to place and sustainability then engaged in collaborative action research leading to recognition of the sociocultural and ethical contexts of education. It also involved videotaping the teachers as they instructed to see how well they included local knowledge in their teaching. The coordinator of the program was also interviewed to get an idea of what was not captured on tape. The research aimed at identifying ways through which teaching and learning of science could be reconsidered in view of cultural practices and prior knowledge of the community in context. The article further focuses on the existing practices in science instruction and then drawing from the research in the professional development program gives recommendations on how to include indigenous knowledge, learner’s experiences and traditional knowledge in the instruction of science.

Public participation in environmental assessment and decision making

Stern, P. C., & Dietz, T. (Eds.). (2008). Public participation in environmental assessment and decision making. National Academies Press.
Involves using different participants, scholars, practitioners and people who are not specialists, in different workshops during the study to conduct environmental assessment. The merits of using public engagement as an effective method of addressing existing environmental problems are also addressed. The project focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of participation in research and how this can influence future research.  How to integrate science into participation in environmental assessment is addressed further into the research. Four recommendations when carrying out public participation practice are discussed in detail. One of them is what to consider when choosing a best-process practice in public participation which includes analyzing the context, deciding on the techniques to use depending on the context, monitoring the process and changing the techniques as required from arising problems.

Participatory Mapping to negotiate indigenous knowledge used to assess environmental risk

Robinson, C. J., Maclean, K., Hill, R., Bock, E., & Rist, P. (2016). Participatory mapping to negotiate indigenous knowledge used to assess environmental risk. Sustainability Science, 11(1), 115-126.

Covers a method where participants, Aboriginal People from Northern Australia, painted and drew maps of their values, knowledge and management aspirations for water and native vegetation. The article describes a participatory research methodology focusing on two case studies to show how indigenous people can share knowledge in environmental risk assessment and management responses. To design an effective methodology the article first focuses on the definitions of indigenous rights and knowledge. A co-research approach between the leaders of the indigenous people and scientists was used in various projects where the community leaders worked with the researchers to select participants and design the participatory mapping workshops. In these workshops the people came up with participatory maps that were effective in designing knowledge partnerships for given environmental issues. During this mapping process the complexities of different indigenous knowledge in the region emerged; a challenge in participatory action research as well as decolonized methodologies approach in research.
Ethics: the article focuses on how to develop ways of knowledge sharing, debating and co-producing while maintaining the integrity of each knowledge system and the respective responsibilities of the individuals involved in this process.

Sharing in innovation: Reflections on a partnership to improve livelihoods and resource conservation in the Honduran hillsides

Humphries, S., Jiménez, J., Sierra, F., & Gallardo, O. (2008). Sharing in innovation: Reflections on a partnership to improve livelihoods and resource conservation in the Honduran hillsides (pp. 36-54). L. Fortmann (Ed.). Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, UK.

This article details a case study of a Participatory/activist Citizen Science that took place in Honduras.  It goes through the context in which that research arose, how the project evolved over 5 years (goals and participant contribution), the scientific methods used, and the results of the project.  This case study used the methodology developed by Dr. Jacqueline Ashbywhose work is cited above and demonstrated how principles of Participatory Research methodology can be translated into activist research in Citizen Science.  This case study shows how Participatory/activist Citizen Science can create social and environmental change and is one of the few examples of Participatory/activist Citizen Science methodology in practice.