Models and frameworks for reflective practice

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Models of reflection represent different ways to approach reflection and help us to better understand what it all means. Frameworks help to structure the process of reflection. You can begin your explorations on this topic by referring to the list of contemporary and established models and frameworks prepared for this course.


Case Study: Emilia

As part of her professional development as a new teacher, Emilia has been keeping a reflective journal, as she used to do when a health professional.

Every Friday she reflects back on what she herself has done and learned during the week. She records in her journal not just what happened but also why and her own feelings and reactions to specific situations and the decisions she made. She also decides on some actions she needs to take to improve how she can work more effectively and sets goals for herself. She is using a specific framework to structure her writing.

Emilia says:

When I started, one of the staff developers suggested I use the Three-Step Reflective Framework and set aside a bit of time each week for writing in a reflective journal.

At first I didn't think it would be a good use of time, but I've found it really helpful. Teaching is a complicated role, and so is the whole course design process - my reflective journal is helping me get to grips with the job, and I don't think I'd be learning as effectively without it. The framework is helping me to structure my writing so that I get maximum benefit from my reflections. It is also helping me to develop the skills I need for critical reflection.


Case Study: Brett

In one of his department's courses, students have to keep a journal of building construction techniques they use in the workplace. They use a blog to record their work with photos and self-assessment of the techniques.

Brett says:

Some of the students found this difficult at first. So I suggested to the teachers that they set up their own reflective blog as a model of what was required. I showed them how to do it and used my blog as an example.

It's working well - not only has it helped the students see the sort of thing that is required, the teachers too are now keen reflective bloggers and building their teaching capability! They are beginning to realise how reflection can be used for professional learning.

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  • Explore the list of models and frameworks, and any others you find useful.
  • Select a model or framework that suits your learning style and context, to guide your reflections about practice.