Comparing relevant theories, principles and models of reflective practice
In this evaluation I will analyse and compare relevant theories, principles and models of reflective practice and explain how they relate to my practice and development.
Reflective practice is an evolving concept. In the 1930s, John Dewey defined reflective thought as:
‘Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends.’
He set out five phases or aspects through which we can see a process of reflection. However using phrases such as phase and stage does give a sense of ...view middle of the document...
For them reflection is an activity in which people:
‘Recapture their experiences, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it.’
This approach is very much reflecting on action which enables us to spend time exploring why we acted as we did, what was happening in the group etc. This goes against the idea of reflection as a continual process, a way of life, and there was criticism of Boud et al from Cinnamond and Zimpher (1990) when they argued that:
‘They (Boud et al) constrain reflection by turning it into a mental activity that excludes both the behavioural element and dialogue with others involved in the situation.’
More and more I find myself reflecting as I’m teaching and adapting my teaching as the session progresses to meet the needs of individuals who have brought their own view to the session and presented me with an additional way of looking at the subject matter or prompted me to use an example which I had previously dismissed or forgotten about.
The work of Kolb (1984) has been influential for the majority of educators as he approaches reflection in a cyclical way as one that is ongoing and constantly striving for improvement (see Diagram below).
This to me is a practical and usable model of reflection that can be applied to many aspects of our life experiences not solely education. An example of how I have worked in this cyclical way and developed my ICT skills is my use of power point presentation within sessions. I began teaching using pre-prepared power points that did add to my sessions but could still be quite dry at times. By researching ways in which to improve on this I have progressed to adding animation, DVD clips, sound and am now in the process of compiling my own power point presentations using up to date and more relevant information which the students can relate to. By using this ICT tool in this way I have seen students response increase as well as their interest in further research.
Brookfield (1995) saw reflection as viewing teaching...