Reflection for Professional development

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Hello everyone, As part of my Level 3 Early Years Workforce Course I have been asked to research theoretical perspectives on reflection to professional development. I need to share my own findings on an online forum. These are some of my findings:

Kolb's Experimental Learning Cycle (1984) = David Kolb's experimental learning theory involves the acquisition of abstract concepts that can be applied flexibly in a range of situations. In kolb's theory, the motivation for the development of new concepts is provided by new experiences. His theory is represented by a four stage learning cycle in which the learner 'touches all the bases':
1. Concrete Experiences: Doing or having an experience.
2. Reflective Observation: Reviewing or reflecting on the experience.
3. Abstract Conceptualisation: Concluding or learning from the experience.
4. Active Experimentation: Planning or trying out new ideas.
Effective learning is seen when a person progresses through a cycle of all four stages, resulting in new experiences.

Gibbs Cycle of Reflection (1988) = Gibbs' model was developed form David Kolb's 4 stage experimental learning cycle. Kobl's model is referred to as an experimental learning model, which relates to learning through experience, Gibbs' model is referred to as an iterative model, which relates to learning through repetition. In theory, reflective process follows the 6 steps of the model so that each step informs the next. Gibbs model of reflection are:
1. Description: What happened?
2. Feelings: What were you thinking and feeling?
3. Evaluation: What was good and bad about the experience?
4. Analysis: What sense can you make of the situation?
5. Conclusion: What else could you have done?
6. Action plan: If it arose again, what would you do?
The aims of using Gibbs' reflective cycle are to:
- challenge assumptions,
- explore new ideas or different ways of doing or thinking about things,
- promote self-improvement by identifying own strengths and weaknesses and taking actions to address them,
- link theory and practice by combining doing with thinking.

Schon's process of continuous learning (1995) = Donald Schon suggested that the capacity to reflect in order to engage in a process of continuous learning was one of the defining characteristics of professional practice. He described two distinct processes of reflection:
1. Reflection-in-action: Thinking 'as you go' about what you are doing, how well you are performing and how successful you are with different tasks.
2. Reflecting-on-action: Thinking 'after the event' when you have completed a task you can consider afterwards what worked well, or how things could have been managed differently.
Schon believed in the concept of improvisation and incorporating life experiences into the process of learning. In this way, through experience, learning and practice, we can continually improve our work and become true 'reflective practitioners'.

Johns' five stage model (2000) = Christopher Johns model is based on five stages that enable you to break down your experience and reflect on the process and outcomes. This model encourages the reflective practitioner to explore how experience has changed and improved their practice. The stages are as follows:
1. Description of the experience: what were the significant factors?
2. Reflection: what was I trying to achieve, and what were the consequences?
3. Influencing factors: what factors affected my decision making?
4. Could I have dealt with it better? What other choices did I have?
5. What will change because of this experience? How has this experience changed my knowledge and personal awareness?

In conclusion, these models examine the process of reflection in slightly different ways however, they are all based on the same basic principles:
1. Begin with the concrete experience, 'describe what happened'.
2. Review the experience by reflecting on 'what went well?' and 'what didn't go so well?' (Identify strengths and areas for improvement).
3. Analyse what has been learned from the experience, 'what could be improved or changed?'.
4. Implement a new plan to try out the different strategy or approach.

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Posted 4 months ago

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Heather Butcher

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My reflection for personal professional development is to improve the mindset of how one can push themselves to a better life style through education.  I am currently studying Criminology Level 3 with Stone bridge and hope to pass.  A very worth while course to help improve my prospects for employment as well as helping the youth to a better chance of life thorough prevention of crime in social and community groups.  Studying from home is the best as I have the time to focus and have my comfort breaks as well sort out the family while they are at work.  I am also employed to help finance and to stay motivated while on the course on reflection moments on my job as a cleaner in a local school.  Being a local writer also helps me to stay focus on what I can write about focusing on crime prevention in my local community or in our society in the UK - where I can help - I may not make all the decisions but I am happy to help to create a better future for my neighborhood.  Heather Butcher