Developing reflective capacity in midwifery students

Using Education Design Research (EDR) methodology as the framework for this Doctoral study, this project aims to develop and evaluate educational tools and strategies to facilitate the development of reflective capacity in midwifery students.

The first two phases of the project are complete including an educational needs and conceptual analysis with integrative review of the literature.  This informed the design and development of a structured model of holistic reflection for use in midwifery – the Bass Model (Bass et al, 2017).

The third phase involved a pilot of the utility of the Bass Model of Holistic Reflection using a cross sectional collaborative study involving midwifery students enrolled in pre-registration midwifery programs at two Universities (Bass et al, 2019; Sweet, Bass et al, 2018). The findings from this study informed development of education resources for midwifery students to support development of reflective capacity and a tool to assess reflective writing skills.

Phase Four explored the education needs of facilitators who support development of reflective capacity in midwifery students. This informed development of a Reflective Practice Toolkit for educators. The findings from this study have been submitted to Nurse Education in Practice November 2019.

Phase Five is currently in progress and involves development of a validated Reflective Inventory for use by midwifery students and educators to assess development of holistic reflective capacity.  The final phase will include evaluation of effectiveness of the Bass Model in promoting the development of holistic reflective capacity in midwifery students.

Co-Leads: Janice Bass (PhD candidate) with Associate Professor Mary Sidebotham, Professor Debra Creedy, and Professor Linda Sweet from Deakin University
Collaborating partners: School of Nursing and Midwifery Flinders University, School of Midwifery, Auckland University of Technology


Bass, J., Fenwick. J., & Sidebotham, M. (2017). Development of a Model of Holistic Reflection to facilitate transformative learning in student midwives. Women and Birth 30(3), 227 – 235.

Bass, J., Sidebotham, M., Creedy, DK. & Sweet, L. (2020). Midwifery students’ experiences and expectations of using a model of holistic reflection. Women and Birth, 33(4), 383-392.

Sweet, L., Bass, J., Sidebotham, M., Fenwick, J., & Graham, K. (2018). Developing reflective capacities in midwifery students: Enhancing learning through reflective writing. Women and Birth, 32(2), 119-126. 

Sweet, L., Bass, J., & Graham, K. (2019). The Continuity of Care Experience and Reflective Writing: Enhancing Post-Practicum Learning for Midwifery Students. In Augmenting Health and Social Care Students’ Clinical Learning Experiences (Vol. 25, pp. 141-162). (Professional and Practice-based Learning; Vol. 25). Springer, Cham.

Bass, J. Sweet,L. Creedy, DK., & Sidebotham, M. (2020). Exploring the needs and experiences of educators in facilitating use of the Bass Model of Holistic Reflection. Nurse Education in Practice, 46, 102805.