Theoretical perspectives on reflective practice....

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hello everyone.
As part of my assignment for CACHE level 3 i am required to post my concept on theoretical perspectives on reflective practice and welcome any further advice or information..

As a practitioner reflection is an important aspect of my practice. To monitor my own practice gives me the opportunities to evaluate the effectiveness of my practice and highlight my strengths as well as certain areas that I could improve in.

It seems to come instinctively and naturally when working with children, coming into contact with so many different situations and automatically reflecting about how I handled, listened, reacted and what could I have done differently to improve my response or the way I worked. By reviewing and revising my practice this allows me to implement new ideas and by doing this I can enrich the quality of my practice in the setting and improve outcomes for not only children but their families too.

 I have looked at two theoretical perspectives on reflection in relation to professional development and how their theories have, what I believe, impacted on the way many practitioners reflect on 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 professional practice. He claimed that by using reflection, practitioners are able to identify hidden more extensive knowledge, this generally underpins what most practitioners do often by natural instinct. From this new understanding practitioners are able to improve their practice and become increasingly experienced in their role.

He identified 2 types of reflective mthods....

1 ) Reflecting in action – where the practitioner is thinking on their feet about what they are doing, how they are handling situations and how successful are they with the different activities/tasks. This type of reflection process enables practitioners to learn better when provided with hands on 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 the other reflection where practitioners think about the event afterwards and consider what worked well and how to improve or manage situations differently. This type of reflection incorporates past experiences into the process of developing and learning to better one’s own practice and performance. Knowledge is created through the procedure of experiences. This is evident by the performance and quality built up over each reflection to deliver the best practice and widen knowledge and experiences.

 Another theorist is Kolb’s experiential learning cycle 1984. There are 4 main stages to his learning cycle and for practitioners to be able to reflect effectively on their learning they need to pass through the four procedures, this can begin at any stage of the cycle. But for it to be effective the whole cycle must be completed in order to understand effective learning. Each of his stages are equally 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 theory mostly depends on trying and repeating actions for the best possible practice rather than a step by step approach. Really thinking carefully about each stage of professional deliverance and ways to adapt and work on experiences and knowledge.

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Emma Randall

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Posted 1 year ago

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