Create a reflective entry in which you critically evaluate your reflective practice.
|Photo by Timea Willemse 28 April 2016|
Reflecting on Reflecting:
Reflective practise has always existed in some way, otherwise nothing would have changed, ever. The cool thing about the last 20 years though, has been that the practice of every day teachers has been shared more publicly with advancements in (and growing acceptance of) on-line sharing platforms. No longer is it the domain of the guru in your field, nor does it need to be a lonely introspection. Now, your thoughts can matter to someone too!
I have blogged for years, sometimes to reflect, sometimes to share ideas with others, sometimes to teach, well before it became fashionable. It is now timely to reflect more critically on my practice and share that aspect openly. Why? The benefits are huge. The number of people willing to jump in and support or share is exponential and collaboration can happen across borders (real or imagined).
This openness does frighten some people new to blogging. I too was apprehensive when I started many years ago. Yes there are nasties out there who miss the point of critiquing and jump straight to criticizing, just as there are nasties in your real life too. But that is few and far between. Teachers have connected from across New Zealand and the world. Some have even contacted me, spending time discussing their programmes, asking for support or visiting my room to observe my practice. My blog even helped me to get an interview with my current school. Basically it has replaced my CV.
This week, Mind Lab has provided some interesting resources to support a critical evaluation of one's reflective practice.
|North Carolina Teacher Reflection Model - links closely with the Hull Uni video content. Sourced from: https://sites.google.com/site/reflection4learning/elementary-school|
Reading, Finlay's paper about Reflecting on reflective practise confirmed for me that here is an aspect of professional expectation that again gets reduced down to formulae and recipes, to ensure standardisation (sound familiar?). Reflection becomes shallow and rote, simply fulfilling a requirement for ongoing registration.
In fact, critical reflection as a concept, tool, etc. should be researched by individuals in order to gain a personal understanding and relevance, based on where they are at the time. Reflecting critically on one's practice is a purposeful and transformative exercise that improves your practice the more you do it (Hull Uni, Reflective Writing Video). And the more you do it, the better you get at reflecting critically and more deeply, relating it back to research and theory. It is a complex undertaking and varies based in situation, time, emotional connection, experience...I could go on...
So, just start doing it. Committing my experiences and thoughts to text can be cathartic and reduces ruminations which can often be destructive, when involving negative events. Seeing it in writing helps me to distance myself enough to look at it objectively and be open to solutions.
|Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model sourced from https://sites.google.com/site/reflection4learning/why-reflect|
Read, watch, look up from your practice and be inspired by what is around you.
Jump in and try things, have a go!
Sometimes it will turn into a mess and you'll think - what the heck have I started here!
But then...stop, reflect (critically as you grow and evolve), and try it again with a few tweaks.
Who knows, you may create something beautiful. But you'll never know unless you first try!
Finlay, L. (2008). Reflecting on reflective practice. PBPL. Retrieved from http://www.open.ac.uk/opencetl/files/opencetl/file/ecms/web-content/Finlay-%282008%29-Reflecting-on-reflective-practice-PBPL-paper-52.pdf
SkillsTeamHullUni. (2014, March 3). Reflective writing.[video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoI67VeE3ds
With love, as always
Thank you for visiting,