This chapter outlines some of the methodological and ethical issues inherent in using Fook and Gardner’s (2007) model of critical reﬂection as a research methodology. Many pedagogical issues related to using critical reﬂection as a learning tool in the context of education are well theorised and documented in the literature. These include: the educator taking a leadership role in fostering critical reﬂection as part of transformative learning (Brookﬁeld, 2005: 352; Giroux, 2011: 3); the politics of both the educator and the learner contributing to a co-construction of new knowledge (Brookﬁeld, 2005: 358); and the power relations between the educator facilitating the critical reﬂection and the learner engaging in it (Brookﬁeld, 2005: 354; Giroux, 2011: 5). However, such issues are less well articulated in relation to using critical reﬂection as a tool of inquiry in the context of research. This chapter discusses these tensions, and presents my reﬂections about conducting critically reﬂective research with social work practitioners to explore the possibilities to work towards changing the legal response to sexual assault. I also explore conducting this type of research in organisational settings such as universities, and discuss the challenges this can present as dominant, objectivist ways of knowing are often privileged within these contexts (Meinert et al., 2000). I ultimately argue that Fook and Gardner’s (2007) model of critical reﬂection model oﬀers a rigorous and ethical method of inquiry. The research project involved working with six experienced sexual assault
practitioners who were employed as counsellor/advocates.2 All participants were concerned that their work with victims/survivors had become dominated by responding to the failures of the legal system to deliver justice. This secondary, systemic abuse perpetrated by the legal system was producing a strong sense of fatalism in practitioners. Consequently, all participants initially expressed a strong sense of powerlessness.