The two reflective practice models I have chosen to compare are Kolb1 and Brookfield2.
Reflective practice is intended to help the teacher evolve and develop. It is an essential aspect of continuing professional development and is seen as a fundamental process in improving the quality of teaching3.
Although teachers have done this for years the models formalise the process and put a structure on it. However, it is a subjective rather than an objective process as it takes feelings and emotions into account. It is an ongoing process and does not necessarily produce a definite outcome 4. Reflective action involves a willingness to engage in constant self appraisal and development. Among other things it implies flexibility, rigorous analysis and social awareness5. Kolb developed the 4 stage “experiential learning cycle” which as its name implies is based on learning from experience - the theory being that you can learn from your mistakes. It starts with a concrete experience such as taking a lesson; role-playing or some other activity. In the Kolb model it is essential that the individual does the task - observing won’t do. In both Kolb & Brookfield it is also important to keep a reflective diary or journal to record your experiences during the lesson since this provides evidence of your development.
In the second stage you Reflect upon and objectively and systematically analyse your performance and feelings during the lesson taking into account the successes and failures of the class. This reflection or debriefing session should take place under the guidance and direction of a mentor and perhaps in a group with other new practitioners. This has the advantage of peer analysis and feedback as well as mutual support and encouragement. This is not meant to be an evaluation of the student as honesty and confidentiality are important. The intention is that the students will eventually learn to do this... [continues]
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