About Johns’ model of structured reflection

  • See how we have used Johns' cue questions in our Health Visitor example . Forgotten the Health Visitor example?

    Johns’ questions are, like Holm and Stephenson’s, prompt questions. He has classified them by type of question, not by the order in which they have to be asked, although there is a progression within the questions. You don’t have to use all the questions in every situation, and you can use questions more than once if appropriate.

    First, write a brief description of the experience.
    Then use the cue questions under the headings as prompts to organise your reflection
    (click on each heading for an explanation of these terms)

    ‘things perceptible by the senses, as opposed to things thinkable or immaterial’
    Shorter Oxford Dictionary

    Johns’ use of the word ‘aesthetics’ here is unusual. The questions under this heading encourage you to focus on concrete actions - what the happened in the here and now.

    What was I trying to achieve?
    Why did I respond as I did?
    What were the consequences of that for the patient, others, myself?
    How was this person feeling? (or these persons?)

    How did I know this?


    These questions invite you to look inwards, and identify your own reactions and drivers

    How did I feel in the situation?

    What internal factors were influencing me?


    ‘The science of morals… The science of human duty in its widest extent…’ (meaning 4)
    Shorter Oxford Dictionary

    These questions are about whether your actions were consistent with how you think or want to act, and if not, why not.

    How did my actions match my beliefs?

    What factors made me act in incongruent ways?


    Empirical: ‘based on, or guided by, the results of observation and experiment only’ (meaning 1)
    Shorter Oxford Dictionary

    These questions ask you to pinpoint your learning from this experience: to identify how your experience is growing, how your knowledge base in increasing, and how you use this in the future.

    How does this connect with previous experiences?
    Could I handle this better in similar situations?
    What would be the consequences of alternative actions for:
    the patient?
    How do I now feel about the situation?
    Can I support myself and others better as a consequence?
    Has this changed my ways of knowing?
    Johns C (1995) Framing learning through reflection within Carper’s fundamental ways of knowing in nursing.

    Journal of Advanced Nursing. 22: 226-34