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Gibbs 1988 Reflective Cycle 1

By Gwyddion-Flint May 28, 2015 523 Words
Gibbs’ (1988) Reflective Cycle
Gary, Andrea, Nick & Omar

Gibbs’ reflective cycle is a common model for
reflection. It includes 6 stages of reflection

Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle
• It is a never ending cycle, whereby theory and
practice constantly feed each other
• It can start as quite a shallow process, but the more
you develop and the more you begin to analyse the
tasks, the deeper your learning experience becomes
• In professional practice, tasks do not always follow
set procedures – you need to draw on both practical
experience and theory to think on your feet and

Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle
• Gibbs’ reflective cycle is a theoretical model,
often used by students as a framework in
coursework assignments that require reflective
• Gibbs’ model was developed from an earlier
theoretical model; David Kolb’s 4 stage
experiential learning cycle (1984)
– Kolb – experiential learning (learning by doing)
– Gibbs – iterative model (learning through repetition)

Description (what happened)
• A description of the event;
– where were you,
– who else was there,
– what were you doing,
– what happened

• Don’t waffle! – Keep it relevant

Feelings (what were you thinking and feeling)
• This includes your emotions – from how you
felt at the beginning all the way through to the
end of the session.
• Why do certain things/feelings stand out?
• How did others feel about this? (other staff
members / LSA’s / learners etc)

Evaluation (What was good and bad about
the experience?)
• How well did things go?
• How did you react in the situations which
• Make a judgement about what has happened.
• What was good about the experience?
• What didn’t work so well?
• Think about the 5 whys (ask yourself ‘why’ 5

Analysis (What sense can you make of the
• Explore the components, breaking the
evaluation down into smaller chunks and
looking at these with detailed questions

Conclusion (What else could you have done?)
• Is there anything else that you could have done?
• If positive – would you do the same again to
ensure a positive outcome?
• What can you change to improve things further
• Developing insight into yours and other peoples
practices and behaviours
• Dependant on everything which has happened
before – if previous parts haven’t been
completed effectively, this is null and void

Action Plan (If it arose again, what would you
• Summary of everything you need to know to do
it again – what would you do different, how to
implement this,
• If faced with the same situation, what would you
• This completes the cycle, so if you experience the
same again, you should be able to deal with it

Gibbs’ linked to Rolfe

• Poor judgement due to lack of knowledge and
• Lack of time and space to comprehend better
• Negative preconceptions about reflective
• Non-supportive organisational culture

References / Links
• Gibbs’ Reflective Model: • Jasper, M. (2003) Beginning reflective practice – Foundations in Nursing and Healthcare. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes
• More information: rk.pdf

• Sheet from Kerry: • Gibbs’ and Rolfe Linked: • Disadvantages:

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