Reflective Practice

Improving Own Self Skills to Learn

What is reflective practice?

Reflective practice is a process by which you: stop and think about your practice, consciously analyse your decision making and draw on theory and relate it to what you do in practice.

Introduced by Donald Schon in 1987,reflective practice involves thoughtfully considering your own experience as you make the connection between knowledge and practice, under the guidance of an experienced professional within your discipline (Schon,1996) Schon had previously argued (1983) that the model of professional training that relied upon filling up students with knowledge then sending them out into the world of practice was inappropriate in a fast-changing world. A refelctive practice model would enable learners and novices within a dicipline to compare their own practices with those of experienced practitioners, thus leading to development and improvement.

Moon (1999) defines reflective practice as "a set of abilities and skills, to indicate the taking of a criticle stance, an orientation to problem solving or state of mind"

Benefits of Refelective Pratice

The main benefits are:

  • a deeper understanding for teachers of their own teaching style

  • greater effectiveness as a teacher

  • validation of the teacher's ideals

  • beneficial challenges to traditional approaches

  • recognition of teaching as "artistry"

  • respect for diversity in applying theory to classroom practice.

Key issues discovered in Self Reflection on Delivery

  • Finding time to reflect
  • Motivation to reflect
  • There appeared to be no immediate benefit from the reflection
  • A lack of knowledge or understanding about what to do
  • Reluctance to reflect on emotions as part of the process
  • The journal approach to reflection


My Own Findings

Learning is a lifelong journey. From reflecting on my own learning journey, I have realised that I have developed my skills as a reflective practitioner. A part of this is the use of a learning log, which has sparked my area of future enquiry. It has acted as a useful starting point for delevloping and forming my own theory, which is an important purpose of reflection (Moon 1999). Theories help inform our own practice and the practice of others.

I support the contention that effective reflection requires the use of an experienced practitioner (Schon 1996). I often wonder, does my own reflection reflect me at all? This is, do my own evaluation of lessons match the ideal? One soloution to my own need for personal development has been the prespectives of others and the use of feedback to form targets that I can put into future practice. In has also seen deleveloped through working with my peers.

I feel that I have grown in my own abilities as a refletive pratitioner. My abiliites in reflecting-on-action have developed enormously sincne begninig my Level 5 teacher qualification. Prior to this, my reflection was mostly in-action and the knowledge that I imparted was mostly tacit. Decisions were made in the heat of the moment and were based on my "gut -instincts". I was not as informed in terms of my understanding of educational theory.I did not evalute my lessons in terms of "What went well" and "Even better if" , and I did not have targets that identified my own areas for development. These are things I have now put into practice since starting the teaching course. As my awareness of educational theory develops, I find that my reflection-on-actions is becoming increasingly valuable for my reflection-in-action, and this supports Schons's theory (1996). The evidence for this is in the progress I am making.