Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia
KAMPUS IPOH, 31150 HULU KINTA
PERAK DARUL RIDZUAN
Siti Nabila Yusof
B. Ed TESL
Mr. Ruban Paul Durai
A ‘reflective practitioner’ is a person who applies a ‘reflective practice’ into his her professional field for the sake of the professional development although we cannot deny that the purposes can also be for the sake of getting higher income and obtaining fame. The literature of reflective practice is widely discussed regardless of different professional fields especially in the aspects of the definition of the term ‘reflective practice’ itself, the methods or means to achieve a stage of becoming a reflective practitioner, and the relations of how reflective practice can be incorporated into particular professional fields. This literature is given such attention because it can bring great advantages to the development of many professional fields. This is not to claim that ‘unreflective practice’ does not have any advantages, instead doing a reflective practice may give more advantages rather than not doing it (Wallace, 1991: 54). Therefore, this essay will discuss in details the reflective practice theory in the teaching profession in comparison with the other professional development models and then the activities that can be carried out in order for teachers to become a reflective practitioner in the next five years time in light of the extended professional roles of the teacher and ethical dimensions of teaching in Malaysian context. The reflective models which will be focused in this essay will be Schon, Kolb and Wallace’s.
The ‘reflective practice’ model term was proposed or introduced by Schon in 1983. He has divided a reflection process into two different ways which are ‘reflection in-action’ and ‘reflection on-action’ (Finlay, 2008). The difference between these two ways of reflection is the matter of when the reflection process takes place; whether it happens during the events or after the events has taken place. Schon’s ideas about reflective practice has then been expanded and discussed by Kolb, Gibbs, Johns, Rofle, Wallace, Moon and others by using their own interpretations about this concept. Kolb (1984) has established his own reflective model cycle by focusing on the four main processes that will occur continuously in one’s professional development. The process will happen after the ‘reflective observation’ is done on the ‘concrete experience’ and then consequently, the result of the reflection will suggest an ‘abstract concept’ or hypothesis to be put into the ‘active experiment’ in the later stage (Moon,1999:24-25). After that, the result of the experiment will become a ‘concrete experience’ for the next cycle of developing one in his or her profession. Meanwhile, according to Wallace (1991), in order to become a reflective practitioner, one needs to undergo two stages; ‘pre-training stage’ and ‘professional education and development stage’ (p.49). The first stage that he proposed is actually the schemata or the mental constructs of the trainees on the profession that they are engaged in or will be engaged in (ibid). The second stage is the stage where the trainees will apply their ‘received knowledge’ and their ‘experiential knowledge’ into practice and then reflect upon it reciprocally (ibid).
However, it is important to take note that Schon, Kolb and Wallace still share the same principles albeit they describe the reflective model in different ways. The same principles that they share can be concluded as the main characteristics of what we call reflective practice model. From the three views, it can be deduced that a reflective practice is a continuous learning process which will help one to self-develop from time to time. This is because no one will be a perfect reflective practitioner. This explains why Kolb and Wallace have...
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