A Play in Three Acts

Confused, Conflicted, and Convinced (Learning to Reflect in Athletic Therapy)


  • Michelle Yeo Mount Royal University
  • Mark Lafave Mount Royal University




reflection, reflective writing, professional education, qualitative research, athletic therapy


In some fields, written reflection is commonplace whereas in others it is uncommon. While athletic therapy education aims to produce reflective practitioners, written reflection is not a typical pedagogy employed. In 2014, the athletic therapy program at our institution began the implementation of a clinical presentation (CP) approach to facilitate competency-based curriculum requirements. This innovation to pedagogy required a reimagined approach to teaching, learning, and assessment. We describe one aspect of a larger SoTL study on this transformation, inquiring into the development of reflective practice through reflective writing. Students were asked to regularly reflect on their experiences in the clinic or field as part of their program. In this qualitative component of the study, we were able to gain insight into how students perceived the reflective process, how that evolved over their program, what were enablers and barriers to their reflection, and what was the role of feedback in their learning. The characteristics of student perceptions in each year, which followed a learning arc which we describe sequentially as “confused, conflicted, and convinced,” is explored, along with implications for pedagogy in assisting students to develope reflective professional practice.