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The Reflective Practitioner Sharon Witt October 2009.

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1 The Reflective Practitioner Sharon Witt October 2009

2 Aims Understand what is meant by “reflection” Understand the importance of reflection to evaluating and improving personal performance Identify different kinds of reflection for different purposes Consider the value and use of a reflective journal

3 3 Definitions of reflection “…an activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull over it and evaluate it” Boud, Keogh and Walker (1985) “...through reflection and analysis we strive to understand the experience” Osterman and Kottkamp (1993) This striving for understanding links reflection with learning

4 Why reflect? Spend 5 minutes discussing this with others and jot down your ideas.

5 Why reflection is important to you ? Making sense of experience Standing back Repetition Deeper honesty Weighing up Clarity and a better understanding of what affects our own performance and progress Understanding Making judgements Increased self- awareness about hidden motivations, our thinking styles and of how we appear to other people Allows us to gain more control over emotions, feelings, responses and behaviour

6 The reflective practitioner Reflective practice is the application of the skill of reflection to our practice with the intention of improving our professional practice. Reflective practice could therefore include: Identifying areas for improvement through self- assessment and ultimately improve competence looking for learning points within the scenario or situation on which you reflect and considering how you might apply that learning in other situations to further enhance performance identifying learning / development needs e.g. as part of the CPD cycle and planning to meet these in order to improve practice changing or modifying practice in response to the learning undertaken Taking responsibility for your continuing professional development (CPD) to ensure lifelong learning

7 What is reflection? It is a thought process It involves: – looking back at events and asking questions (Retrospective) – looking forward (crystal ball gazing) and asking questions (Prospective) – identifying learning / development needs 7

8 “If You Always Do What You Have Always Done.... You’ll Always Get What You Always Got!”


10 How does reflective practice differ from reflection? Reflection is part of reflective practice Reflective practice is a further extension of reflection Reflection is a skill and reflective practice is the application of that skill to our practice to improve our performance Reflective practice aims to improve performance. Whilst reflection may lead to improved understanding it does not necessarily lead to an improvement in performance



13 Everyday practice… Tacit Conscious

14 How do we reflect? Many different models for reflection

15 Activity: Recall a key event in your life ( that you may not mind sharing) Talk about what you recall in 5 mins

16 Activity - repeat talking about key event Use following framework :  Key people  Places  Time  Location  Significant sights, sounds, smells, taste or touch.  Thoughts  Feelings  Actions taken  Identify the consequences

17 REFLECTIVE OBSERVATION Feelings/impressions ABSTRACT CONCEPTUALISATION Making sense of the experience ACTIVE EXPERIMENTATION Planning what to do next CONCRETE EXPERIENCE The event /experience Kolb’s Learning Cycle

18 Schon’s reflective practitioner Reflection- in- action – reflection triggers when events are unusual/ or problematic ; a conscious effort to adapt practice. Reflection- on- action retrospective analysis of what occurred in order to change and adapt. Action following deliberation.

19 Tips to effective reflection Avoid: ♦ Self justification/indulgence/pity Identify: ♦ Your successes ♦ Areas in need of development ♦ Barriers to your progress ♦ Solutions to working around or overcoming barriers

20 Self- Evaluation on reflective practice Complete self- evaluation on reflective practice What are your priorities for improving reflection? Which one thing could you do this week in order to develop your reflective abilities ?

21 How might you already be reflecting? Talking over a situation you have found difficult with a partner, friend, mentor or colleague Thinking over the events of the day on the way home Action planning for the first assignment

22 22 Potential barriers to reflective practice Time Preconceptions that it is difficult or not worth doing Culture of the organisation Honesty with self Fear “A science background”

23 A reflective journal… Has no hard and fast rules Has a personal style. It contains impressions, descriptions, thoughts and feelings Can be used as a tool for analysis and reflection Over time patterns and relationships emerge which were previously isolated events.

24 A journal can take any form … Diary, notebook, Ring file, scrapbook, album E-file Jottings, prose, drawings, diagrams, cartoon strips, photographs, cuttings, annotated documents When learners make journals ‘their own’ they are more useful and meaningful…




28 Your journal is for … YOU! You might share with a colleague/s (mentor) as response partner/s. Try to establish this special relationship with a ‘critical friend’ Remember the importance of a “professional voice” when sharing extracts with others e.g. in assignments.

29 You might record … information events contexts roles relationships and interactions emotions and responses

30 You might use your journal … During events, discussions, readings Immediately after events, discussions, readings Later - after time to reflect. In assignments quoting extracts as evidence to support your discussion.

31 So, what can you find out through keeping a journal? What happened? What were the facts? What was the context for the events? What was my role? What feelings and sense surrounded the event? What did I do? What was the role of others? / What did they do? What did others feel about the situation? What were the significant events that took place? What else might I have done? What are the implications? What do I need to do next? And …

32 Professional development Keeping a professional journal: helps teachers answer questions, e.g. Why do things happen? How do I and other teachers feel about this? helps to focus on professional behaviour and clarify beliefs and assumptions reveals some of the hidden facets of school and classroom life help you to become comfortable with the complexity and uncomfortable nature of enquiry help you to step back and see other perspectives move beyond the immediacy of the circumstance and challenge perceptions identify patterns and changes provides data for discussion about school and classroom practice with a view to improvements.

33 DIRECTED TASK - Write a new entry! Reflect on your use of learning journal in the light of today’s session Begin Reflective learning journal - – How do you feel about starting the FD? – What challenges do you anticipate?

34 Bibliography Clarke, H ( 2006) Year 1 Induction study skills Cottrell, S. (2003) The Study Skills handbook Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Cottrell, S.( 2003) Skills for success, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Fulwiler, T. (1987) (Ed.)The Journal Book Portsmouth NH: Boynton/Cook Holly, M.L. (1987) Keeping a Personal Professional Journal Deakin: University Press Moon, J. (1999) Learning Journals London: Kogan Page Popp, M. S. (1997) Learning journals in the K-8 classroom : exploring ideas and information in the content areas Mahwah NJ: : L. Erlbaum Associates

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