Reflective Essay

Topics: Reflection, Education, Lifelong learning Pages: 5 (2044 words) Published: March 17, 2015
Unit 505 Continuing Personal and Professional Development Task D Reflective essay

The concepts of reflective practice are widely accepted in education and many other professions, in simple terms, Moon (2004) describes it as a process of 'cognitive housekeeping' whereby a practitioner would explore their own values, beliefs and practice to a professional situation. It is also frequently perceived that a structure is helpful to support and encourage more than just simple reflections ,Jones (2009). Popular theorists have emerged in reflective practice, Schon cited in Smith (2011) expands on the concepts of Dewey (1933) and Kolb (1984) by not simply learning from errors but to explore one's own theory. Introducing the concept of discourse between espoused theory and what actually happens in action. He argues that practitioners develop their own repertoire based on experiments tried and evaluated in practice, this will inform how they behave and respond in future situations. Wieringa (2011) find the principle of testing hypotheses whilst 'in' action almost mythical arguing that Schons examples of learners in an art studio may have the time for such experimentation but in an alternative context this may not be a viable option. In practice teachers are however continuously reflecting in action, to consider what is working well and which elements need modifying. This constant process of reviewing and refining is a key element to professional practice. Jones (2009) observed this with a group of nurse students, they found also that reflection 'on' action could become blurred through learners memory of the situation and their own prejudices. They introduced cards for immediate reflection 'in' action. Incidents when working with people in the medical or educational professional contexts can easily be skewed through situations being emotionally charged. Finlay (2008) also critique Schons work for its limitations in the educational context and describe Grushka et al(2005) including reflections 'FOR' action in their model. It demonstrates some of the considerations educators need to make around for example, resources, differentiation and objectives. Educational practitioners need to proactively consider why they are doing something? A well known reflective model within the educational context is that of Brookfield (1995) requiring the educator view their practice through four lenses, through autobiography, views of colleagues, learners and through educational theory and literature. This is reminiscent of the popular psychology perspective of Ingham and Lufts (1995) Johari window described by Chapman (2010), this multimodal approach is far more likely to reveal our hidden, blind and unknown areas for reflection. In an institution such as Sparsholt these opportunities for reflection would be gained through learning journals, TALO , leaner and LSA feedback, appraisal and CPD days. As a new lecturer the feedback received from learners and LSAs at the interface of what is provided has proven to give the most insight into my professional practices. The Brookfield model allows for investigation into a wider professional context rather than just the individual, Brookfield (1995) views reflection as an interrelated process combining the need to critically review one's own assumptions, review ideologies and recognise societal and cultural values that inform ones world view. The additional concept of societal and cultural influences is crucial here, Boud and Walker (1998) believe this element has been overlooked in reflective theory . They argue that institutional values need also to be addressed in reflection and suggest that supportive institutional contexts are not as common as people may assume. Sparsholt college through their teacher training programme actively encourage reflection and investigation, this is proactively supported through the senior management team and is demonstrated through the support of the action research...
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