Reflective practice and distance learning: problems and potentials for probation training

Rachel Goldhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the constraints of managerialism and high caseloads, I suggest that probation should still be committed to working creatively with vulnerable individuals, many of whom exhibit strong negative emotions. Reflective practice enables practitioners to deal with these feelings sensitively, then move on to effect change. However, imparting skills and knowledge for reflective practice is not straightforward and is further complicated by distance learning. Two studies were embarked on to discover from Trainee Probation Officers (TPOs) themselves how learning about reflective practice could best be accomplished. The main themes of the studies, the ability to handle and learn from anxiety; negotiating academic and organisational barriers; and the parallels to Trainees’ work with offenders, are explored. This paper argues reflective practice is integral to effective probation practice and should continue to hold a key position in offender manager training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalReflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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