The format and style of the SOR differs from that of the 'traditional' academic essay, with which students were more familiar. However, with tutor and peer support, even the weaker students were able to fulfil the SOR criteria, while the best SORs also showed a subtle understanding of the process of students' own professional learning. The genre was not perceived as either private or public, but as a combination of the two, a marriage which mirrors the autonomous and collegial processes of professional development. Also, SORs could be said to have widened and deepened the types of knowledge which trainees had access to, enabling them to break out of the practical loop within which knowledge was thought to be impoverished and reflection was found to be defensive.


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