Reflective practice


The concept of ‘reflective practice’ was described in 1983 by Donald Schön. Developing this a bit further, based on interviews with practitioners, it became clear that there are different types of reflections. At the moment, nine reflections are recognizable. This is a description of professional practice as it is at the moment. It does not indicate ‘best practice’ or ‘the way top-designers’ work. A lot more comparative practice based research is required to investigate and compare best practices.

Together with Dr. Stephen Newman, we’ve compiled a bibliography of Donald Schön. The first version appeared in 2015 and it was updated and corrected in 2018 and 2020. At the moment (February 2020) it contains 275 entries. [download pdf]


The literature is very broad. I focus on the following titles:

  1. Schön, Donald. 1954. Rationality in the practical decision process. PhD thesis. Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.

  2. Schön, Donald. 1983. The Reflective practitioner. Basic books.

My publications on this topic:

2012 [Co author: Maurits Vroombout] Communication Design Education: could nine reflections be sufficient? Pp 8–35 in Sharon Poggenpohl (editor): Special issue of Visible language on ‘Envisioning a future of Design education’. 46 (1/2) [download pdf]