Reflective practice – A tool for learning
When something goes wrong or something unexpected happens during a lesson or activity, we ask ourselves questions such as, could I have done something to avoid it? These experiences usually make us grow and we learn from experience, and we will be better prepared to face the situation if it happened again. This introspection is generally called “reflection”, and all professionals have adopted it in order to improve their practice, but for educators reflection involves “critical thinking” about past experiences or current experiences that occur or are occurring in classroom settings and looking at them in a positive light on how to make improvements for their teaching techniques and smooth the progress of children’s learning. But reflection is not an innovation in teaching, it has its roots in the work of a number of educational theorists for over 60 years such as Dewey and Schon who devised theories on reflection which include, Dewey’s theory of “thinking on your feet” and Schon’s theory of “reflection in action” and “reflection on action”. As many theorists are out to prove their theory, many will criticize others, Moon is for one who criticises Dewey’s theory and describes it as “an unconscious act”.
After studying the ‘Reflective Practitioner’ module, I decided to undertake a project involving reflective teaching. This module made me aware of how important reflective teaching is if we are to help children learn effectively. As every child is different, different methods and strategies need to be used to facilitate learning for every child. At the same time it gives an opportunity for practitioners to enhance their existing skills and broaden their perspective on how to deliver more effective teaching, by reflecting on which strategies work better than others. Whilst researching on how to enhance children’s learning I wanted to research factors that could enhance children’s learning in the classroom environment. This would then allow me to investigate a number of researches such as effective classroom environments (Stewart and Evans 1997); to what extent a classroom environment can assist children.
Therefore the aim for this project is, ‘To investigate if Early Years Professionals consider that reflective teaching enhances children’s learning’. In order for this aim to be carried out objectives will be set accordingly. The objectives therefore are to; define what reflective teaching is in the context of theorists, this will be achieved through secondary research information available from the public domain on how theorist define reflective teaching, secondary research will also be conducted on the literature around reflective teaching from a variety of sources also available from the public domain which will include models and support of theorists. As the aim is set to be conducted on Early Years Professionals, primary research will also be conducted. In order to conduct primary research a semi-structured interview will be conducted towards a practitioner of a West Midlands Primary school to see whether he/she considers if reflective teaching enhances children’s learning. Furthermore an observation will be carried out on the classroom environment to see if it assists children in learning.
To investigate if Early Years Professionals consider that reflective practice enhances children’s learning.
• Define what reflective teaching is in the perspective from theorists. • Conduct secondary research on the literature around reflective teaching including models supported by theorists. • Conduct primary research investigation on professionals via semi-structured interview. • Conduct primary research observation on the classroom environment. • Analyse findings of primary and secondary research.
• Finally form a conclusion based on the findings obtained from primary and secondary research.
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