Johns model of reflection has been a pioneer in developing new ideas and frameworks for effective learning. It is widely used by different professionals from all sorts of disciplines. The framework of reflection theorised by Johns has been an exemplary framework for bringing productivity and growth. The very fabric for the idea of reflection by Johns has come from someone else. The model of reflection suggests that there should be a connection between your experience and outcomes.

What constitutes the thought process behind the Johns structured model of reflection is two-way reflection. One is inward reflection, and the other is outward reflection. What does both of these mean? How did Johns conceptualise the idea of the model of structured reflection? From where did this come in, and why is it significant? What kind of insight do they provide, and what do those insights mean? We will cover and uncover all these questions and their answers. You will learn about Johns' model of reflection in an in-depth discussion.

Johns Model of Reflection

What Is John's Model?

The Johns model of reflection is a structured framework to define how one should analyse their actions better in relation to a previous experience. The reflection of the individual goes two ways in this framework - inward and outward. Inward reflection means the consideration of one's own actions and analysing them. It helps an individual understand better about themselves in that particular context. On the other hand, outward reflection is the identification of other people's involvement in a particular situation. It proposes a series of questions, forming a structure.

How It Came Into Existence?

Johns structured model of reflection or Johns model of structured reflection (MSR) was introduced by Christopher Johns. He was a nurse educator (professor) and a practitioner who came up with this model in 1994. Originally published in the early 90s, the idea was inspired by another important figure in the nursing profession - Dr. Barbara Carper. Dr. Barbara A. Carper was also a nursing professor who introduced "Fundamental Patterns Of Knowing In Nursing". Her work was published in 1978 at the College of Nursing at Texas Woman's University.

Carper's "Fundamental Patterns Of Knowing In Nursing" is similar to Johns model of reflection. Her work focused on a structure that would bring effective learning outcomes in the nursing profession and treat patients better. It is composed of the same crucial aspects (patterns) that we need to reflect on and comprehend. With the comprehension of these patterns, the nurse-patient relationship contributed to better treatment and healthcare provisions. These patterns are the same as Johns but consist of only four, which are:

  1. Empirics - knowing the science of nursing
  2. Aesthetics - knowing the art of nursing
  3. Personal - knowing yourself while nursing
  4. Ethics - knowing moral knowledge of nursing

The Five Aspects Of The Johns Model

Johns structured model of reflection came into existence because of the revolutionary shift in nursing due to Carper's work. The basic intent is reflection - something that is done consciously to think of the actions and form opinions about it.  The opinions can be both subjective and objective. The basic intent is the same in both, but what Carper's five (not four) patterns form in combination is something that can be interpreted differently. The idea behind both the theory and interpretation is the same. However, Johns's interpretation added one more aspect to this.

1. Aesthetics

Just as an academic writer knows what he or she knows to write in a student's assignments, any professional knows what he or she is doing. This phase informs the idea of explaining any experience and reflecting upon it in a factual manner. This can include statements such as:

  • What was my reaction?
  • What was I doing?
  • What were others doing?
  • What was the result?

2. Personal

The second phase informs us that we need to reflect on our involvement in the experience. It helps us to understand our individual contribution to the experience. This phase of Johns model of reflection allows us to consider our and other people's feelings. We also learn about what influential factors might have contributed to the experience. Examples can be like this:

  • How did I feel?
  • How did others feel?
  • What internal factors contributed to our experience?
  • Why was I feeling at the moment of experiencing it?
  • What am I feeling now about it?

3. Ethics

This phase informs the idea of taking into account what moral values we put into use during the experience. It helps us understand what kind of moral knowledge we possess. This phase of Johns structured model of reflection allows us to learn whether our actions match with the values we have. The questions that can be raised as examples in this are:

  • Was I acting with the best intentions?
  • How can I know whether my actions have moral value?
  • Is there any sign of malpractice?
  • If I believe in a value, did I act with it or against it?
  • Do my actions match with my morals?

4. Empirics

This phase informs us about the idea to consider alternative actions and think about our work. If an online assignment expert provided you with their knowledge, that counts as empirical evidence. Here, empirical means the knowledge of your profession and what you know about it. Examples can be like this:

  • What other way could this have been done?
  • Did I take into account what other options are available?
  • How did I measure the course of my actions?
  • Can there be an outside influence?
  • Who contributed to the course of action?

5. Reflexivity (the addition)

Reflexivity here informs the idea that we have to reflect on what lessons we have learned. In this phase of Johns model of reflection, you think and decide what your course of action should be based on those learnings. It is the original addition done by Christopher Johns in his original work, making the theory of reflection. The exemplary questions can be like this:

  • What major lesson did I learn from this?
  • What improvements am I going to make?
  • How am I going to make improvements?
  • How will this experience help me be better?
  • Can results for others be better as well?

Pros & Cons Of The Johns Reflection Model

Like any other model introduced so far by the pioneers and theorists, Johns structured model of reflection has pros and cons. What does this constitute of? Let us know about both of them.


  1. Structured Approach - Breaking down the structured process of reflecting on our observations, thoughts, knowledge, and morals provides a clear framework for individuals to follow and learn from their experiences.
  2. Encourage To Dive - By constituting reflections that induce people to think deeply about their knowledge, experience, feelings, ethics, and observations; the model also encourages them to build a sense of self-awareness.
  3. Critical Thinking - By encouraging the individual to dive deeper into their actions and analyse them critically, Johns model of reflective thinking allows one to develop critical thinking skills and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Transformational - By helping individuals identify their strengths and weaknesses with critical thinking and evaluation of their actions, the model facilitates the planning of new approaches and actions to take, which leads to their overall development.


  1. Time-Consuming - The structured breakdown of the model also means that it is time-consuming and would require someone to go through each step with patience and determination, investing their time and energy.
  2. Mildly Complex - The five-structured framework requires people to look into each and every aspect of their action and analyse. This framework might be overwhelming or complex to people who are not familiar with the concept of self-awareness.
  3. Inherently Subjective - Johns MSR has an inherently subjective outline that makes the framework work. It tells people to consider and analyse the experience as per their interpretation of the experience and no involvement of the second or third person.
  4. Superficial Approach - As it sounds, the model has a flawed element of individuals going over the board with their interpretations. With the emphasis on going deep and analysing everything, one can turn one's thoughts towards superficial aspects of reality.

What Structure Are You Following?

You have learned about the Johns model of structured reflection. What structure are you planning to present in your assignment? Working on the same topic as Johns model or something similar? Is it about nursing or something else? Don't worry - My Assignment Services have immense options for you. We have a dedicated team of academic experts who help students from different academic disciplines. Take our assignment help online to get started. Register now!

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