File Name: reflection in learning and professional development .zip
The process of reflection is a cycle which needs to be repeated. Reflection is a systematic reviewing process for all teachers which allows you to make links from one experience to the next, making sure your students make maximum progress.
Reflection in Teacher Development
Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one's actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. This leads to developmental insight".
Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where people learn from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal learning or knowledge transfer.
It may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement. It is also an important way to bring together theory and practice; through reflection a person is able to see and label forms of thought and theory within the context of his or her work.
Earlier in the 20th century, John Dewey was among the first to write about reflective practice with his exploration of experience, interaction and reflection. Central to the development of reflective theory was interest in the integration of theory and practice, the cyclic pattern of experience and the conscious application of lessons learned from experience. Since the s, there has been a growing literature and focus around experiential learning and the development and application of reflective practice.
As adult education professor David Boud and his colleagues explained: "Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it. It is this working with experience that is important in learning. When a person rethinks or retells events, it is possible to categorize events, emotions, ideas, etc. Stepping back from the action permits critical reflection on a sequence of events.
The emergence in more recent years of blogging has been seen as another form of reflection on experience in a technological age. Many models of reflective practice have been created to guide reasoning about action. Terry Borton's book Reach, Touch, and Teach popularized a simple learning cycle inspired by Gestalt therapy composed of three questions which ask the practitioner: What , So what , and Now what? Subsequently, practitioners reflect on ways in which they can personally improve and the consequences of their response to the experience.
Borton's model was later adapted by practitioners outside the field of education, such as the field of nursing and the helping professions. Learning theorist David A. Kolb was highly influenced by the earlier research conducted by John Dewey and Jean Piaget. Kolb's reflective model highlights the concept of experiential learning and is centered on the transformation of information into knowledge.
This takes place after a situation has occurred, and entails a practitioner reflecting on the experience, gaining a general understanding of the concepts encountered during the experience, and then testing these general understandings in a new situation.
In this way, the knowledge that is formed from a situation is continuously applied and reapplied, building on a practitioner's prior experiences and knowledge. Their theory was built around the recognition and correction of a perceived fault or error.
Double-loop learning involves the modification of objectives, strategies or policies so that when a similar situation arises a new framing system is employed.
Schon advocated two types of reflective practice. Firstly, reflection-on-action, which involves reflecting on an experience that you have already had, or an action that you have already taken, and considering what could have been done differently, as well as looking at the positives from that interaction. The other type of reflection Schon notes is reflection-in-action, or reflecting on your actions as you are doing them, and considering issues like best practice throughout the process.
Doubt brings about a way of thinking that questions and frames situations as "problems". Through careful planning and systematic elimination of other possible problems, doubt is settled, and people are able to affirm their knowledge of the situation. Then people are able to think about possible situations and their outcomes, and deliberate about whether they carried out the right actions. Learning researcher Graham Gibbs discussed the use of structured debriefing to facilitate the reflection involved in Kolb's experiential learning cycle.
Gibbs presents the stages of a full structured debriefing as follows: . Gibbs' suggestions are often cited as "Gibbs' reflective cycle" or "Gibbs' model of reflection", and simplified into the following six distinct stages to assist in structuring reflection on learning experiences: .
Professor of nursing Christopher Johns designed a structured mode of reflection that provides a practitioner with a guide to gain greater understanding of his or her practice. Johns highlights the importance of experienced knowledge and the ability of a practitioner to access, understand and put into practice information that has been acquired through empirical means. Reflection occurs though "looking in" on one's thoughts and emotions and "looking out" at the situation experienced.
Johns draws on the work of Barbara Carper to expand on the notion of "looking out" at a situation. Johns' model is comprehensive and allows for reflection that touches on many important elements. Adult education scholar Stephen Brookfield proposed that critically reflective practitioners constantly research their assumptions by seeing practice through four complementary lenses: the lens of their autobiography as learners of reflective practice, the lens of other learners' eyes, the lens of colleagues' experiences, and the lens of theoretical, philosophical and research literature.
It also helps us detect hegemonic assumptions—assumptions that we think are in our own best interests, but actually work against us in the long run. Reflective practice has been described as an unstructured or semi-structured approach directing learning, and a self-regulated process commonly used in health and teaching professions, though applicable to all professions.
Professional associations such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners are recognizing the importance of reflective practice and require practitioners to prepare reflective portfolios as a requirement to be licensed, and for yearly quality assurance purposes.
The concept of reflective practice has found wide application in the field of education, for learners, teachers and those who teach teachers teacher educators. Microreflection gives meaning to or informs day-to-day practice, and macroreflection gives meaning to or informs practice over time". Students can benefit from engaging in reflective practice as it can foster the critical thinking and decision making necessary for continuous learning and improvement.
When teachers teach metacognitive skills, it promotes student self-monitoring and self-regulation that can lead to intellectual growth, increase academic achievement, and support transfer of skills so that students are able to use any strategy at any time and for any purpose.
Students who have acquired metacognitive skills are better able to compensate for both low ability and insufficient information. The concept of reflective practice is now widely employed in the field of teacher education and teacher professional development and many programs of initial teacher education claim to espouse it.
Reflecting on different approaches to teaching, and reshaping the understanding of past and current experiences, can lead to improvement in teaching practices. As professor of education Barbara Larrivee argues, reflective practice moves teachers from their knowledge base of distinct skills to a stage in their careers where they are able to modify their skills to suit specific contexts and situations, and eventually to invent new strategies.
This does not happen in stages, but is a continuum of reflection, leading to change Without reflection, teachers are not able to look objectively at their actions or take into account the emotions, experience, or consequences of actions to improve their practice. It is argued that, through the process of reflection, teachers are held accountable to the standards of practice for teaching, such as those in Ontario : commitment to students and student learning, professional knowledge, professional practice, leadership in learning communities, and ongoing professional learning.
For students to acquire necessary skills in reflection, their teachers need to be able to teach and model reflective practice see above ; similarly, teachers themselves need to have been taught reflective practice during their initial teacher education, and to continue to develop their reflective skills throughout their career. However, Mary Ryan has noted that students are often asked to "reflect" without being taught how to do so,  or without being taught that different types of reflection are possible; they may not even receive a clear definition or rationale for reflective practice.
Some writers have advocated that reflective practice needs to be taught explicitly to student teachers because it is not an intuitive act;   it is not enough for teacher educators to provide student teachers with "opportunities" to reflect: they must explicitly "teach reflection and types of reflection" and "need explicitly to facilitate the process of reflection and make transparent the metacognitive process it entails".
Rod Lane and colleagues listed strategies by which teacher educators can promote a habit of reflective practice in pre-service teacher education , such as discussions of a teaching situation, reflective interviews or essays about one's teaching experiences, action research , or journaling or blogging.
Neville Hatton and David Smith, in a brief literature review, concluded that teacher education programs do use a wide range of strategies with the aim of encouraging students teachers to reflect e. The implication of all this is that teacher educators must also be highly skilled in reflective practice. Andrea Gelfuso and Danielle Dennis, in a report on a formative experiment with student teachers, suggested that teaching how to reflect requires teacher educators to possess and deploy specific competences.
Many writers advocate for teacher educators themselves to act as models of reflective practice. Tom Russell, in a reflective article looking back on 35 years as teacher educator, concurred that teacher educators rarely model reflective practice, fail to link reflection clearly and directly to professional learning, and rarely explain what they mean by reflection, with the result that student teachers may complete their initial teacher education with "a muddled and negative view of what reflection is and how it might contribute to their professional learning".
Reflective practice "is a term that carries diverse meaning"  and about which there is not complete consensus. Professor Tim Fletcher of Brock University argues forward-thinking is a professional habit, but we must reflect on the past to inform how it translates into the present and future. Always thinking about 'what's next' rather than 'what just happened' can constrain an educator's reflective process. The concept of reflection is difficult as beginning teachers are stuck between "the conflicting values of schools and universities" and "the contradictory values at work within schools and within university faculties and with the increasing influence of factors external to school and universities such as policy makers".
It is important to acknowledge reflective practice "follows a twisting path that involves false starts and detours". Newman refers to Gilroy's assertion that "the 'knowledge' produced by reflection can only be recognized by further reflection, which in turn requires reflection to recognize it as knowledge".
In turn, reflective practice cannot hold one meaning, it is contextual based on the practitioner. It is argued that the term 'reflection' shouldn't be used as there are associations to it being "more of a hindrance than a help". It is suggested the term is referred to 'critical practice' or 'practical philosophy' to "suggest an approach which practitioners can adopt in the different social context in which they find themselves".
Finally, with reflection often taking place independently, educators lack the motivation and assistance in tackling these difficult problems. It is suggested that teachers communicate with one another, or have an indicated individual to talk to, this way there is external informed feedback.
Reflective practice is viewed as an important strategy for health professionals who embrace lifelong learning.
Due to the ever-changing context of healthcare and the continual growth of medical knowledge, there is a high level of demand on healthcare professionals' expertise. Due to this complex and continually changing environment, healthcare professionals could benefit from a program of reflective practice. Adrienne Price explained that there are several reasons why a healthcare practitioner would engage in reflective practice: to further understand one's motives, perceptions, attitudes, values, and feelings associated with client care; to provide a fresh outlook to practice situations and to challenge existing thoughts, feelings, and actions; and to explore how the practice situation may be approached differently.
The act of reflection is seen as a way of promoting the development of autonomous, qualified and self-directed professionals, as well as a way of developing more effective healthcare teams. Activities to promote reflection are now being incorporated into undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education across a variety of health professions.
They noted that the evidence to support curricular interventions and innovations promoting reflective practice remains largely theoretical.
Samantha Davies identified benefits as well as limitations to reflective practice: . The use of reflective practice in environmental management , combined with system monitoring , is often called adaptive management.
However, the authors noted the challenges with melding the "circularity" of reflective practice theory with the "doing" of sustainability. Reflective practice provides a development opportunity for those in leadership positions. Managing a team of people requires a delicate balance between people skills and technical expertise, and success in this type of role does not come easily.
Reflective practice provides leaders with an opportunity to critically review what has been successful in the past and where improvement can be made. Reflective learning organizations have invested in coaching programs for their emerging and established leaders.
Adults have acquired a body of experience throughout their life, as well as habits of mind that define their world. The goal is for leaders to maximize their professional potential, and in order to do this, there must be a process of critical reflection on current assumptions.
Reflective practice can help any individual to develop personally, and is useful for professions other than those discussed above. It allows professionals to continually update their skills and knowledge and consider new ways to interact with their colleagues. David Somerville and June Keeling suggested eight simple ways that professionals can practice more reflectively: . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ability to reflect on one's actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning.
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Part one of this six-part continuing professional development series considered the role of nurse managers in supporting reflection for professional learning. Part two explores approaches to and benefits of reflection for self-development. The notion of self-development may seem removed from professional practice and nurse leadership but the traits that demonstrate who we are, how we learn, how we act and how we influence are related to and transferable from self to professional self. This article considers the purpose of reflecting beyond professional requirements, the influence of our experiences on who we are and what we learn, the value of protected time to think and the benefits of reflecting for personal development. The aim of this article is to consider the transferability of reflection between our professional and personal selves. After reading this article and completing the time outs, you should be able to:. Nursing Management.
Personal Skills:. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and start improving your life in just 5 minutes a day. Reflective practice is, in its simplest form, thinking about or reflecting on what you do. It is closely linked to the concept of learning from experience, in that you think about what you did, and what happened, and decide from that what you would do differently next time. Thinking about what has happened is part of being human. Once you get into the habit of using reflective practice, you will probably find it useful both at work and at home.
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Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Reflection, reflective learning, reflective writing and reflective practice are used increasingly in higher education and professional development—but we do not work to one definition and there are considerable differences in the views of educationists on issues of definition. Such discrepancies can exist between the staff working with the same student group.
Reflective practice is the process that enables us to achieve a better understanding of ourselves, our knowledge and understanding, our skills and competencies, and workplace practices in general. Being able to reflect on our actions and experiences, learn from them and adapt our behaviour accordingly are some of the most important personal development skills we can acquire. They are of equal importance in a professional development scenario. In reflective practice, we need to consider:.
Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one's actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. This leads to developmental insight". Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where people learn from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal learning or knowledge transfer. It may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement.