Critical Reflection and Community Education Values

  • Rob Bray
  • Graham MacLellan
Keywords: Community Education, Community Learning & Development, Critical Reflection


While Reflective Practice is widely regarded as an essential, but orthodox, part of Community Education, Critical Reflection is a more radical, transformative process that questions fundamental assumptions (Fook, 2015). It is, by its nature, difficult to implement within organisational cultures dominated by a narrow managerialism. Within a Community Education department, we introduced a number of initiatives, over the course of a year, to enhance such Critical Reflection. We report here on the process and its outcomes. First, we discuss the central role that Critical Reflection can have in informing decision making and individual professional development. We go on to outline the pressures on Community Education professionals who work within organisational cultures increasingly driven by a neo-liberal agenda, the managerialist imperatives of which undermine both the principles and practices of Critical Reflection. We then describe the process of introducing Critical Reflection into team processes using Reflective Circles and our evaluation of it, focusing on the use of Community Learning and Development (CLD) values to frame discussions. Finally, we draw some conclusions and outline the questions that this work poses.

How to Cite
Bray, R. and MacLellan, G. (2019) “Critical Reflection and Community Education Values”, Concept, 10(1), p. 11. Available at: (Accessed: 29February2020).