Reflective practice

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Case studies with Emilia and Brett
are used to explore the concepts of reflection including critical reflection, professional learning and reflective practice.
Several definitions and a variety of models and frameworks are introduced
along with some strategies for reflection and reflective writing. You are asked to explore the dimensions of reflective practice and discuss how two of them apply to your context.

Reflective practice is a process associated with professional learning, which includes effective reflection and the development of metacognition, and leads to decisions for action, learning, achievement of goals and changes to immediate and future practice (Hegarty, 2011a, p. 20).

To understand reflective practice, and the meaning of effective reflection and professional learning you will need to explore and critique some definitions. To do this, please work through the resource about Reflective Practice: What is it really? which will guide you on this topic. You will discover why reflective writing is beneficial, and be introduced to a number of models and frameworks of reflection, and some strategies. Before you begin, please take some time to do this activity....and look out for Emilia and Brett who are joining us further on.

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  • What is your definition of reflection?
  • How do you usually reflect about your practice?
  • Do you keep a journal or blog to write down your thoughts?
  • Why is this useful or not something you like to do?
  • Whose theories or models of reflection do you like?
  • Post your responses to the Moodle discussion forum.


Case Study: Emilia

At the moment, Emilia only seems to get time to think in her head, and rarely gets a chance to talk to colleagues about her work.

She wants to be more pro-active, and reflect formally so that her 'reflections' help her to change how she approaches her work. She is familiar with the model described by David Boud et al. (1985) where reflection occurs once feelings are attended to and experiences are re-visited and re-evaluated, resulting in a change of perspective or behaviour.

In the following sections we'll look at how Emilia could make use of a model like this to help her practice


Case Study: Brett

Reflection is very familiar to Brett. For years as a teenager he kept a diary.

He likes to meet regularly with colleagues to get feedback on his ideas and to discuss challenges he encounters in the classroom. However, many of the new teachers, in particular, feel uncomfortable with discussing what they regard as 'airy fairy'.

In the following sections we'll look at how Brett could assist others to feel more comfortable with using reflection to improve their practice