Learning and Change in the Work of Donald Schön: Reflection on Theory and Theory on Reflection

Ramage, Magnus (2017). Learning and Change in the Work of Donald Schön: Reflection on Theory and Theory on Reflection. In: Szabla, David B.; Pasmore, William A.; Barnes, Mary A. and Gipson, Asha N. eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1159–1172.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49820-1_57-1

URL: https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.10...


Donald Schön was a deeply original thinker working on change, education, design and learning. He is perhaps best known for his work on the reflective practitioner, in which he formulated a new epistemology of practice founded on knowing-in-action and reflection-in-action, a theory which has had considerable impact. He also made huge contributions to the field of organizational learning, working with Chris Argyris on theories in action and on single/double loop learning. Underlying all these contributions was a theory of change grounded in Dewey’s theory of inquiry and deeply concerned with how institutions and professionals deal with a world beyond the stable state. An educator as well as a theorist and practitioner, Schön was highly interested in how professionals can be taught in ways that reflect the reality in which they work rather than the traditional forms of technical rationality. This chapter examines Schön’s key contributions, the influence of philosophy and music upon his work, and the many ways his work has been used.

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