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. I have chosen John Schon’s continuous learning theory and Kolb’s learning cycle.
I find it is highly important to monitor my own practice as it provides me the opportunities to gage the efficiency of my practice and highlight all strengths as well as area that require improvement.
Often coming naturally when working with children, so many different situations arise and automatically I reflection how I handled, listened, reacted and what could have been done differently. By reviewing and adapting my practice this provides me the right tools and opportunities to implement new ideas and strategies in practice.
Researching and viewing the two theoretical perspectives on reflection in relation to professional development and how they have impacted on the way many practitioners view their practice.
John Schon’s process of continuous learning theory is built on John Dewey’s work, which has linked reflection to professional development and to professional practice. He claims that by using reflection, we are able to recognise more extensive knowledge, this generally underpins what most of us do. From reviewing this we are able to enhance our practice and become increasingly knowledgeable and more experienced.
He identified 2 types of reflective methods....
1 ) Reflecting in action – where the practitioner thinks on their feet about what they are doing, how they handle situations and how successful they are with different activities/tasks. This type of reflection process enables practitioners to learn better with the in the moment experiences by continuously observing and collecting a wide range of information in the moment. By repeatedly carrying out this process of reflecting in action it can help to support and build upon previous experiences and progress on professional practice.
2) Reflecting on action- is another reflection where practitioners reflect afterwards and consider what went well and how they can improve or manage situations differently. This type of reflection incorporates previous experiences into the process of developing and learning to improve on their own practice and performance. Knowledge is gained the process of experience. This is apparent by the performance and quality obtained over each reflection to ensure the best practice is given and extended knowledge.
The next theorist that I researched and reviewed was Kolb’s experiential learning cycle 1984. Highlighting four 4 phases to his learning cycle. This allow practitioners to be able to reflect efficiently on their own learning. They will need to pass through the four measures, this can begin at any phase of the cycle. But in order for it be effective the complete cycle must be finished, in order to understand effective learning. Each one of his stages are similarly supportive of following into the next.
1) Concrete experience - where the practitioner does something such as teaching a child to make marks (this is from ‘doing’ or ‘experiencing’)
2) Reflective observation – is reviewing and reflecting (mentally processing and analysing) the experience that has occurred. This could be what worked well, or not so well, improvements that can be made.
3) Abstract conceptualisation – is concluding the experience and developing new ideas for next time, enhancing and progressing learning.
4) Active experimentation – where what has been learnt is executed, putting ideas into practice.
Kolb’s learning cycle is the most influential, his findings typically depend on trying and repeating actions for the best possible practice, suppose to a step by step approach. Really being cautious about each stage of professional deliverance and ways to incorporate the knowledge and experiences.
I would really apricate your support and views with this.