Joy and knowledge

Reflective Practice

The below presentation (click here to view a Google Slides version and download) comes from a guest slot I gave to a CIPD group today on ‘reflective practice.’

It got me to thinking about models of reflection I use at present and I decided for new teachers, it might be helpful to create some frameworks to guide reflection. These are clearly helpful for people other than teachers and could also be used with learners (click on the words below to open).

Retell, React, Reflect


Description, Interpretation, Outcome, Next step

What? So What? Now What?

I began the session by asking the learners to answer some questions about me. The hope was that they’d make assumptions; some of which would be accurate and others that wouldn’t be. This was so that I could finish the session by exploring the idea of perception and how we should try to leave it out of the equation through engaging in critical reflection.

We then sat and reviewed our days in terms of how we felt and why we felt that way; a favourite way to start my Friday lesson: circle time! 🙂 I don’t think it was quite as effective with learners I didn’t know as I was unable to question their responses as much as I might have liked.

I then referenced Harry Potter, not just because it’s awesome but because this quote so fits the idea of reflection that I couldn’t describe its importance better myself:


We discussed definitions and then I shared the reasons why I choose to reflect:


We considered the differences between reflection in action and reflection on action and then they did some research into different reflective models. We briefly looked at descriptive writing versus descriptive reflection versus critical reflection and then I returned to the concept of ‘perspective.’ This quote from Lemony Snicket couldn’t describe my sentiments more accurately (I love authors!):


This quote, from Mary J Wheatley, sums up the reason I value dedicated reflection time so highly:

I think the session went well and I felt confident and happy afterwards but what space provides is the chance to reflect in more focused detail and I wish I had given them the chance to practice reflecting on an event in the last week so that they could appreciate the full value of it (beyond what they’ll need to do for their course assessment).

If I did a similar session in the future then I’d consider including this (dependent on context of course) so there’s the value of reflection right there!

There are more links here to explore reflective practice in more detail.

Batista, Ed (2007) Experiential Learning Cycles, Available at: [Accessed 17 January 2015]

Kent University (2012) ‘Reflective Learning’, Available at: [Accessed: 17 January 2015]

Pymouth University (2010) ‘Reflection’, Available at: [Accessed 17 January 2015]

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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