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Gibbs' Reflective Cycle
One of the most famous cyclical models of reflection leading you through six stages exploring an experience: description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan.
Gibbs' Reflective Cycle was developed by Graham Gibbs in 1988 to give structure to learning from experiences. It offers a framework for examining experiences, and given its cyclic nature lends itself particularly well to repeated experiences, allowing you to learn and plan from things that either went well or didn’t go well. It covers 6 stages:
- Description of the experience
- Feelings and thoughts about the experience
- Evaluation of the experience, both good and bad
- Analysis to make sense of the situation
- Conclusion about what you learned and what you could have done differently
- Action plan for how you would deal with similar situations in the future, or general changes you might find appropriate.
Below is further information on:
- The model – each stage is given a fuller description, guiding questions to ask yourself and an example of how this might look in a reflection
- Different depths of reflection – an example of reflecting more briefly using this model
This is just one model of reflection. Test it out and see how it works for you. If you find that only a few of the questions are helpful for you, focus on those. However, by thinking about each stage you are more likely to engage critically with your learning experience.
This model is a good way to work through an experience. This can be either a stand-alone experience or a situation you go through frequently, for example meetings with a team you have to collaborate with. Gibbs originally advocated its use in repeated situations, but the stages and principles apply equally well for single experiences too. If done with a stand-alone experience, the action plan may become more general and look at how you can apply your conclusions in the future.
For each of the stages of the model a number of helpful questions are outlined below. You don’t have to answer all of them but they can guide you about what sort of things make sense to include in that stage. You might have other prompts that work better for you.
Here you have a chance to describe the situation in detail. The main points to include here concern what happened. Your feelings and conclusions will come later.
- What happened?
- When and where did it happen?
- Who was present?
- What did you and the other people do?
- What was the outcome of the situation?
- Why were you there?
- What did you want to happen?
Example of 'Description'
Here you can explore any feelings or thoughts that you had during the experience and how they may have impacted the experience.
- What were you feeling during the situation?
- What were you feeling before and after the situation?
- What do you think other people were feeling about the situation?
- What do you think other people feel about the situation now?
- What were you thinking during the situation?
- What do you think about the situation now?
Example of 'Feelings'
Here you have a chance to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work in the situation. Try to be as objective and honest as possible. To get the most out of your reflection focus on both the positive and the negative aspects of the situation, even if it was primarily one or the other.
- What was good and bad about the experience?
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What did you and other people contribute to the situation (positively or negatively)?
Example of 'Evaluation'
The analysis step is where you have a chance to make sense of what happened. Up until now you have focused on details around what happened in the situation. Now you have a chance to extract meaning from it. You want to target the different aspects that went well or poorly and ask yourself why. If you are looking to include academic literature, this is the natural place to include it.
- Why did things go well?
- Why didn’t it go well?
- What sense can I make of the situation?
- What knowledge – my own or others (for example academic literature) can help me understand the situation?
Example of 'Analysis'
In this section you can make conclusions about what happened. This is where you summarise your learning and highlight what changes to your actions could improve the outcome in the future. It should be a natural response to the previous sections.
- What did I learn from this situation?
- How could this have been a more positive situation for everyone involved?
- What skills do I need to develop for me to handle a situation like this better?
- What else could I have done?
Example of a 'Conclusion'
At this step you plan for what you would do differently in a similar or related situation in the future. It can also be extremely helpful to think about how you will help yourself to act differently – such that you don’t only plan what you will do differently, but also how you will make sure it happens. Sometimes just the realisation is enough, but other times reminders might be helpful.
- If I had to do the same thing again, what would I do differently?
- How will I develop the required skills I need?
- How can I make sure that I can act differently next time?
Example of 'Action Plan'
Different depths of reflection.
Depending on the context you are doing the reflection in, you might want use different levels of details. Here is the same scenario, which was used in the example above, however it is presented much more briefly.
Gibbs G (1988). Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford.
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Reflective practice is "the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning", which, according to the originator of the term, is "one of the defining characteristics of professional practice". 
According to one definition it involves "paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively. This leads to developmental insight". 
Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where individuals learning from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal teaching or knowledge transfer, may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement. As such the notion has achieved wide take-up, particularly in professional development for practitioners in the areas of education and healthcare. The question of how best to learn from experience has wider relevance however, to any organizational learning environment.
- 1 History and background
- 2.1 Argyris and Schön 1978
- 2.2 Kolb 1984
- 2.3 Gibbs 1988
- 2.4 Johns 1995
- 2.5 Rolfe 2001
- 3.1 Education
- 4.1 Other Health professionals
- 4.2 Other professions
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
History and background
Professor Emeritus Donald Schön
Reflective Practice was introduced by Donald Schön in his book The Reflective Practitioner in 1983, however, the concepts underlying reflective practice are much older. John Dewey was among the first to write about Reflective Practice with his exploration of experience, interaction and reflection.  Other researchers such as Kurt Lewin , Jean Piaget , William James and Carl Jung were developing theories of human learning and development.  Marcus Aurelius' Meditations has also been described as an example of reflective practice. 
Dewey’s works inspired writers such as Donald Schön and David Boud to explore the boundaries of reflective practice. Central to the development of reflective theory was interest in the integration of theory and practice, the cyclic pattern of experience and the conscious application of that learning experience. For the last 30 years, there has been a growing literature and focus around experiential learning and the development and application of Reflective Practice.
Donald Schön’s 1983 book introduces concepts such as ‘reflection on action’ and ‘reflection in-action’ where professionals meet the challenges of their work with a kind of improvisation learned in practice. Reflective Practice has now been widely accepted and used as developmental practices for organisations, networks, and individuals. As Boud et al state: "Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it. It is this working with experience that is important in learning."  Reflective Practice can be seen and has been recognised in many teaching and learning scenarios, and the emergence in more recent years of blogging has been seen as another form of reflection on experience in a technological age. 
Models of reflective practice
The concept of Reflective Practice centers around the idea of lifelong learning where a practitioner analyses experiences in order to learn from them. Reflective Practice is used to promote independent professionals who are continuously engaged in the reflection of situations they encounter in their professional worlds. There are several models of reflection used to draw lessons out of experiences. [ citation needed ]
Argyris and Schön 1978
Adaptation of the single and double loop learning model by Argyris and Schön
Adaptation of the reflective model by Schön
Argyris and Schön pioneered the idea of single loop and double loop learning in 1978. The theory was built around the recognition and amendment of a perceived fault or error.  Single loop learning is when a practitioner or organisation, even after an error has occurred and a correction is made, continues to rely on current strategies, techniques or polices when a situation again comes to light. Double loop learning involves the modification of personal objectives, strategies or policies so that when a similar situation arises a new framing system is employed. 
Schön himself introduced some years later the concept of Reflection-in-action and Reflection-on-action. Reflection-in-action can be described as the ability of a practitioner to ‘think on their feet’, otherwise known as ‘felt-knowing’.  It revolves around the idea that within any given moment, when faced with a professional issue, a practitioner usually connects with their feelings, emotions and prior experiences to attend to the situation directly. Reflection-on-action on the other hand is the idea that after the experience a practitioner analyses their reaction to the situation and explores the reasons around, and the consequences of, their actions. This is usually conducted though a documented reflection of the situation. 
Adaptation of the Kolb's reflective model
Kolb was highly influenced by the research conducted by Dewey and Piaget in the 1970s. Kolb’s reflective model highlights the concept of experimental learning and is centered around the transformation of information into knowledge. This takes place after the situation has occurred and entails a practitioner reflecting on the experience, gaining a general understanding of the concepts encountered during the experience and then testing these general understandings on a new situation. In this way the knowledge that is gained from a situation is continuously applied and reapplied building on a practitioners prior experiences and knowledge. 
Adaptation of the Gibbs Reflective Model
Graham Gibbs discussed the use of structured debriefing to facilitate the reflection involved in Kolb's "experiential learning cycle". He presents the stages of a full structured debriefing as follows:
- (Initial experience)
- Description : "What happened? Don't make judgements yet or try to draw conclusions; simply describe."
- Feelings : "What were your reactions and feelings? Again don't move on to analysing these yet."
- Evaluation : "What was good or bad about the experience? Make value judgements."
- Analysis : "What sense can you make of the situation? Bring in ideas from outside the experience to help you." "What was really going on?" "Were different people's experiences similar or different in important ways?"
- Conclusions (general) : "What can be concluded, in a general sense, from these experiences and the analyses you have undertaken?"
- Conclusions (specific) : "What can be concluded about your own specific, unique, personal situation or way of working?"
- Personal action plans : "What are you going to do differently in this type of situation next time?" "What steps are you going to take on the basis of what you have learnt?"  
Gibbs' suggestions are often cited as Gibbs' reflective cycle or Gibbs' model of reflection (1988), and simplified into the following six distinct stages:
- Action plan.
Adaptation of the Johns Reflective Model
Johns ’ model is a structured mode of reflection that provides a practitioner with a guide to gain greater understanding. It is designed to be carried out through the act of sharing with a colleague or mentor, which enables the experience to become learnt knowledge at a faster rate than reflection alone.  Johns highlights the importance of experienced knowledge and the ability of a practitioner to access, understand and put into practice information that has been acquired through empirical means. In order for this to be achieved reflection occurs though ‘looking in’ on ones thoughts and emotions and ‘looking out’ at the situation experienced. Johns draws on the work of Carper (1978) to expand on the notion of ‘looking out’ at an experience.  Five patterns of knowing are incorporated into the guided reflection, having a practitioner analyse the aesthetic, personal, ethical, empirical and the reflexive elements experienced through the situation. Johns’ model is comprehensive and allows for reflection that touches on many important elements. 
Adaptation of the Rolfe Reflective Model
Rolfe ’s reflective model is based around Borton ’s 1970 developmental model.  A simplistic cycle composed of 3 questions which asks the practitioner, What, So What and Now What. Through this analysis a description of the situation is given which then leads into the scrutiny of the situation and the construction of knowledge that has been learnt through the experience. Subsequent to this, ways in which to personally improve and the consequence of ones response to the experience are reflected on. 
Reflective Practice has been described as an unstructured approach directing understanding and learning, a self regulated process, commonly used in health and teaching professions, though applicable to all professions.    Reflective practice is a learning process taught to professionals from a variety of disciplines by practitioners, with the aim of enhancing abilities to communicate and making informed/balanced decisions. The practice has historically been applied most in the educational and medical field.
In education, reflective practice refers to the process of the educator studying his or her own teaching methods and determining what works best for the students. It involves the consideration of the ethical consequences of classroom procedures on students. 
The appeal of the use of reflective practice for teachers is that as teaching and learning are complex, and there is not one right approach, reflecting on different versions of teaching, and reshaping past and current experiences will lead to improvement in teaching practices.  Schön’s reflection-in-action assists teachers in making the professional knowledge that they will gain from their experience in the classroom an explicit part of their decision-making. 
As Larrivee argues, Reflective Practice moves teachers from their knowledge base of distinct skills to a stage in their careers where they are able to modify their skills to suit specific contexts and situations, and eventually to invent new strategies.  In implementing a process of Reflective Practice teachers will be able to move themselves, and their schools, beyond existing theories in practice.  Larrivee concludes that teachers should “resist establishing a classroom culture of control and become a reflective practitioner, continuously engaging in a critical reflection, consequently remaining fluid in the dynamic environment of the classroom”. 
Other Health professionals
Reflective Practice is associated with learning from experience, and is viewed as an important strategy for health professionals who embrace lifelong learning . Due to the ever changing context of healthcare and the continual growth of medical knowledge, there is a high level of demand on healthcare professionals' expertise.  Due to this complex and continually changing environment, healthcare professionals could benefit from a program of reflective practice. 
For healthcare professionals Reflective Practice would result in a physician noticing when there is, for example, an unexpected response to treatment, critically reviewing their initial understanding on the problem and generating alternate solutions.  This has the added benefit of assisting the health care professional by providing a new learning situation that will develop their skills and knowledge base. 
In the field of nursing there is concern that actions may run the risk of habitualisation, thus dehumanising patients and their needs.  In utilising Reflective Practice, nurses are able to plan their actions and consciously monitor the action to ensure it is beneficial to their patient. 
The act of reflection is seen as a way of promoting the development of autonomous, qualified and self-directed professionals. Engaging in Reflective Practice is associated with the improvement of the quality of care, stimulating personal and professional growth and closing the gap between theory and practice. 
Reflective Practice can help an individual to develop personally, and is useful for professions other than those discussed above. It allows professionals to continually update their skills and knowledge and consider ways to interact with their colleagues. 
Suggested ways for professionals to practice reflective management include:
- Keeping a journal;
- Seeking feedback;
- View experiences objectively; and
- Taking time at the end of each day, meeting, experience etc. to reflect-on-actions.
- Self analysis
- ↑ Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, How Professionals Think In Action , Basic Books. ISBN 0465068782 . Template:Page needed
- ↑ Bolton, G (2010) Reflective Practice, Writing and Professional Development (3rd edition), SAGE publications, California. ISBN 184860212X . p. xix
- ↑ Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think. A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process (Revised edition.), Boston: D. C. Heath. ISBN 0486298957 .
- ↑ (2005). Learning Styles and Learning Spaces: Enhancing Experiential Learning in Higher Education . Academy of Management Learning & Education 4 (2): 193–212.
- ↑ Mac Suibhne, S. (2009). 'Wrestle to be the man philosophy wished to make you': Marcus Aurelius, reflective practitioner. Reflective Practice 10 (4): 429–436.
- ↑ Boud D, Keogh R and Walker D (1985) Reflection, Turning Experience into Learning , Routledge. ISBN 0850388643 . p. 19
- ↑ (2010). Weblogs as instruments for reflection on action in teacher education. Interactive Learning Environments 18 (3): 245.
- ↑ Smith, Mark K. (2001), Chris Argyris , Encyclopaedia of informal education (infed). Web-page accessed 29 November 2010
- ↑ Argyris, C & Schön, D (1978) Organization learning: A theory of Action perspective , Reading, Mass: Addison Wesley. ISBN 0201001748 . Template:Page needed
- ↑ Walkerden, G. (2005) Felt knowing: a foundation for Local Government Practice. In Keen, M., Brown, V. & Dyball, R. (Eds.) Social Learning in Environmental Management . London, Earthscan. ISBN 9781844071838 . Template:Page needed
- ↑ Schön, D (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, How Professionals Think In Action , Basic Books. ISBN 0465068782 Template:Page needed
- ↑ Sheilds R.W., D. Aaron, and S. Wall (2001), What is Kolb's model of experiential education, and where does it come from? , Questions and Answers on Adult Education, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Web-page accessed 29 November 2010. Template:Self-published inline
- ↑ Gibbs G. Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods [monograph online]. Reproduced by the Geography Discipline Network; 2001. [cited 2011 Nov 10]
- ↑ Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods , Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford Polytechnic . London: Further Education Unit. ISBN 1853380717 . Section 4.3.5 .
- ↑ Grech, E. (2004), " Hegel’s dialectic and reflective practice – a short essay ". International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation . 8 , 71–73.
- ↑ (October 1978). Fundamental Patterns of Knowing in Nursing . Advances in Nursing Science 1 (1): 13–24.
- ↑ (1995). Framing learning through reflection within Carper's fundamental ways of knowing in nursing. Journal of advanced nursing 22 (2): 226–34.
- ↑ Borton, T (1970), Reach, Touch and Teach . London, U.K.:Hutchinson. ISBN 0070065713 . Template:Page needed
- ↑ Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) (eds.) Critical Reflection for Nursing and the Helping Professions . Basingstoke, U.K: Palgrave. ISBN 0333777956 . pp. 26 et seq. , p. 35
- ↑ Boud D, Keogh R and Walker D (1985) Reflection, Turning Experience into Learning . Routledge. ISBN 0850388643 .
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 (2000). Transforming Teaching Practice: Becoming the critically reflective teacher. Reflective Practice 1 (3): 293.
- ↑ Schön D (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, How Professionals Think In Action , Basic Books
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 (2000). Action research and reflective practice: towards a holistic view. Educational Action Research 8 : 179.
- ↑ (1996). Reflective Practice: A Case Study of Professional Development for Environmental Education. The Journal of Environmental Education 27 (3): 11.
- ↑ (1971). Prostheses and epitheses in ophthalmology. What should a practitioner know. Zeitschrift fur Allgemeinmedizin 47 (3): 118–21.
- ↑ (1996). A practical strategy approach to use of reflective practice in critical care nursing. Intensive & critical care nursing 12 (2): 97–101.
- ↑ (2004). The structure of reflective practice in medicine. Medical education 38 (12): 1302–8.
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 (1996). Reflective practice in the accident and emergency setting. Accident and emergency nursing 4 (1): 27–30.
- ↑ Jasper, M. (2003) Beginning Reflective Practice (Foundations in Nursing and Health Care) . Cheltenham: Nelson Thomas Ltd. ISBN 0748771174 . Template:Page needed
- ↑ (2004). A practical approach to promote reflective practice within nursing. Nursing Times 100 (12): 42–5.
- Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think , Revised Edition. Boston: D.C Heath. ISBN 0486298957 (Dover reprint 1997)
- Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, How professionals think in action , Basic Books. ISBN 0465068782
- Hartman, H. J. (2001), "Teaching Metacognitively", In Metacognition in Learning and Instruction , Springer, Dordrecht. ISBN 079236838X
- Freshwater D, Horton-Deutsch S, Sherwood G, Taylor B (2005), Resource Paper: The Scholarship of Reflective Practice , The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International
- 11.965 Reflective Practice: An Approach for Expanding Your Learning Frontiers , MIT OpenCourseWare , January 2007
- Neill, J (2004), Experiential learning cycles
- Tindal, Ian, Discovering reflective practice
- Introduction to developing reflective practice , The UK Centre for Legal Education
- Atherton, J.S., Learning and teaching: Reflection and Reflective practice
- Smith, Mark K., Donald Schön: learning reflection and change , Encyclopedia of Informal Education (Infed)
| Reflective Model
- Reflective Journal Writing – Part of the Autonomy Project of HKIEd l;,l,;',l;\.?
- 1 Race and intelligence (test data)
- 2 Pregnancy fetishism
Reflective Practice: What is it really?
Dr Bronwyn Hegarty has compiled this overview to start you off on your explorations and to get you thinking about this topic. She welcomes your contributions. Recommended citation: Hegarty, B. (2013). Reflective Practice: What is it really? Retrieved from http://wikieducator.org/GDTE/Reflective_Practice
- 1.1 Definition of reflective practice
- 1.2 Dimensions of reflective practice
- 1.3 Case Study: Emilia
- 2.1 Case Study: Emilia
- 3.1 Case Study: Emilia
- 4 Case Study: Brett
- 5.1 Case Study: Emilia
- 6.1 Case Study: Emilia
- 6.2 Definition of Professional Learning
- 6.3 Definitions of Reflection
- 6.4 How can reflection be used for practice?
- 6.5 Why is reflective writing necessary?
- 6.6 What is critical reflection?
- 6.7 Models and Frameworks of Reflection
- 6.8 References and Further Reading
What is Reflective Practice?
Understanding what is meant by reflective practice can be tricky. Some researchers give the impression that it is the same as reflection and use the terms interchangeably but this is not strictly correct. Reflection about practice is a part of it, but unless the process of reflection leads to learning and changes in your practice it is debatable whether reflective practice has occurred. Therefore, reflective practice in the true sense is much more than simply reflecting about practice. You will find the literature about reflection is vast, and contemporary views are different to some of the earlier theorists. This information is an attempt to guide you in finding your way through the maze. I begin with an overview of reflective practice, then introduce the concepts of professional learning and reflection which are components.
Definition of reflective practice
So why this definition? Developing metacognition means that you are more likely to become a reflective practitioner because you have heightened self-awareness about your actions and the ability to monitor and critique your learning and performance to achieve your goals for practice (Hegarty, 2011a). These attributes are more likely to be developed if you engage in reflection and self-evaluation about practice. So what is meant by professional learning and effective reflection? You can read more about this further on.
Compare this definition of reflective practice with the one from The Teacher's Reflective Practice Handbook by Paula Zwozdiak-Myers (2012):
Dimensions of reflective practice
Reflection helps you to learn from your experiences and to develop as an expert practitioner. Decide on a definition of reflection and choose a preferred model or framework to guide you. You may now realise that reflection involves not only looking back (reflection-on-action) but can also be used in the midst of your practice (reflection-in-action) and for looking ahead (reflection-for-action).
Recording your reflections helps you to deepen your reflection and re-visit your experiences until you have gained insights into your practice. Ask yourself questions and where possible enter into dialogue with a critical friend who can prompt the direction of your reflections thus contributing to the reflective process.
The body of theoretical knowledge about teaching is vast. However, the expert knowledge on which teacher education is based is not necessarily transferred to teaching contexts (Zwozdiak-Myers, 2012). Teachers generally have fabulous content knowledge about their discipline but little theoretical understanding of teaching. Barriers to the application of theoretical knowledge include teachers' preconceptions about teaching and their students, the timing of exposure to this knowledge, and information that is irrelevant for solving immediate or complex situations in the classroom.
Therefore, teachers need access to theoretical knowledge and research from the literature that makes sense in their context, and can provide practical solutions that they can implement. Reflection about practice under the guidance of an expert mentor can assist teachers (of any level of experience) to understand how to apply theoretical knowledge to their teaching contexts. In this way, they can be guided to design and use effective learning and teaching methods (pedagogies) based on theory and research that are relevant for their students, and will maximize access and engagement in the learning environment.
Conversations with yourself and your thoughts are useful during the reflective process. However, even more useful are discussions with others as these will expose you to a variety of viewpoints and ideas. This can help you to develop your knowledge in real-world contexts, that is, participate in a social learning environment (known as constructivist theory of learning). Using these learning conversations, the teacher can learn to think as an expert teacher might think and examine multiple perspectives about teaching.
Professional learning communities, mentors and peers are all great for facilitating learning conversations. Teaching observations can also be used in this way. Beneficial outcomes are more likely when the learning conversations are planned and structured so that the dialogue supports the teacher to reflect on practice, develop new knowledge and understanding and change future practice. Student feedback and evaluations can be used to trigger learning conversations. It is often the critical questions asked by a colleague that lead to revelations about our practice (Zwozdiak-Myers, 2012).
Innovation can occur through the pedagogical approach that is used as well as in the technologies that support the learning. For example, a teacher might want to use project-based learning with groups. She decides to get each group to develop their projects using a blog and a wiki. Since this is a new approach for her and her students, it is important that she seeks advice from colleagues experienced in this approach, prior to starting and also during the process. She also needs to gauge how students are responding and to get feedback throughout so that she can respond appropriately. The critique of her peers and students and her reflections will help her to develop her expertise in this area. Nothing like innovation to stimulate reflective practice.
Learning conversations can also occur around discussions about theoretical knowledge and research evidence. Some practitioners meet regularly to discuss articles they have read or techniques they have used, others post on their blogs and invite discussion that way.
A design approach called Universal design is where "environments, objects, and systems that can be used by as many people as possible" ( NC State University, 1997 ). This means that flexible choices must be provided with multiple alternatives for access and use. This is to ensure that people of any age, ability, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity or culture etc. can be accommodated.
When teachers understand how to offer flexible learning approaches that meet the diverse needs and learning preferences of their students, exciting things can happen. Five dimensions of flexibility that can impact on students are related to: time; content of the course; entry requirements; instructional approaches and resources; delivery and logistics (Casey & Wilson, 2005).
- Use the flexibility grid to reflect on how flexible your learning environment actually is - Table 2.2, p. 7 & 8, and also Appendix 3, p. 41-44 in A practical guide to providing flexible learning in further and higher education by Casey, J. & Wilson, P. (2005).
Other approaches teachers can use to support learning are formative assessment and personalised learning. Feedback is an important aspect of assessment for learning and when done effectively can boost students' confidence and motivation.
Many factors have been found to have an impact on the effectiveness of teaching. For example, knowledge of the subject matter and passion, high expectations of themselves and the students, good skills for facilitating intellectually challenging and structured learning and for responding to the diverse needs of students. Also, teachers' self-efficacy and beliefs about teaching and their commitment and desire to help students achieve are regarded as influential. Additionally, personal factors such as having a good sense of humour and situations and events that occur outside the classroom also have an effect (Zwozdiak-Myers, 2012).
Professional growth of teachers is strongly linked to the quality of their teaching. If teachers systematically reflect on the outcomes of each lesson to examine why learning occurred or not, then they have an opportunity to build their knowledge and advance their expertise (Zwozdiak-Myers, 2012). Formative assessment and learning activities can be used to inform this dimension because they will signal the success of the teaching and learning strategies.
Also, if teachers can engage in reflective practice to gauge their performance against specific quality standards or criteria, researchers consider that they are more likely to improve their practice (Zwozdiak-Myers, 2012). However, in New Zealand no such standards exist and by gaining a tertiary teaching qualification, teachers are on the right path since specific criteria must be met in the graduate profile. Knowledge of pedagogical models and how to use information communication technologies (ICT) effectively for learning are essential ingredients for effective teaching in the 21st Century. Therefore, it is important that these areas are integrated in the professional development of teachers (Zwozdiak-Myers, 2012).
Definition of Professional Learning
Professional development (both formal and informal) can assist with professional learning and from my perspective needs to be closely associated with activities that encourage effective reflection. Just attending training sessions or reading articles, for example, may trigger reflection about the activity, but may not lead to a change in practice unless the practitioner actively reflects on what is learned and applies this to practice.
Definitions of Reflection
To think mindfully means that you really notice what happened during the experience or event. Self-evaluation means that you describe the experience at an emotional and self-questioning level and analyse what occurred and how it affected you. Acknowledging your feelings and reactions is an important part of this process. In this way, you can not only understand why you acted in the way that you did but can also attempt to explain the actions of others. Once you start examining others’ perspectives, whether it is those of colleagues or the information that you source in the literature, you can enter the domain of critical reflection…and that is another story.
How can reflection be used for practice?
As you have probably realised by now, developing a contemporary definition of reflection is complex because the field is huge and researchers have varying opinions and perspectives. Some practitioners regard reflection as just thinking, whether it is in your head, on paper or with a colleague, friend or mentor. To some degree this is true. However, it is important to consider how the thinking is done (the cognitive process), why it has occurred and what it involves (the stimulus), as well as what it leads to at the end, e.g. learning and changes to practice (the outcomes). Hatton and Smith (1995) believe that as teachers develop their skills and gain experience, three specific types of reflection can develop:
- technical rationality (behaviours and skills);
- reflection-on-action (involving, descriptive reflection - description and justification; dialogic reflection - exploration; and critical reflection - multiple perspectives and factors); and
- reflection-in-action (thinking 'on your feet').
These researchers, who based their work on Schon (1983, 1987) found that the latter form of reflection was more likely when practitioners were experienced.
Why is reflective writing necessary?
Let’s face it, thinking, thinking, and thinking with thoughts buzzing around in your head probably won’t get you anywhere that is helpful unless you have some structure and are able to reach discernible outcomes. From my perspective:
Therefore, it is important to take your thoughts and write about them; this is part of being a reflective practitioner. Menary (2007) considers that when you write you think. Therefore, by fashioning thoughts into a more permanent form by recording them you are more likely to extract meaning from your experiences. Therefore, when reflecting on your experiences through discussing them with a colleague it is a good idea to record the outcomes, preferably in writing. A number of models and frameworks are available further on to assist with this.
Reference as: Watton, P. Collings, J. & Moon, J. (2001). Reflective writing. Guidance notes for students. Retrieved from http://www.exeter.ac.uk/fch/work-experience/reflective-writing-guidance.pdf
What is critical reflection?
For reflection to extend to critical reflection, practitioners must engage in critical thinking and question the status quo. This means that they need to consider multiple perspectives and consider how their viewpoints and assumptions fit within the historical, socio-economic and political parameters of the profession and the world view. Metacognition and critical analysis of many factors play a part in this. Proponents of critical reflection believe that is necessary to practice at this level of reflection if practice is to be transformed (e.g., Fook & Gardner, 2007; Fook, White, & Gardner, 2006; Leach, Neutze & Zepke, 2003). Also, an aptitude for critical reflection relies on specific dispositions as well as experience, and novice practitioners are less likely to practice this type of reflection unless a more expert practitioner is available to guide them (Hatton & Smith, 1995). The role of critical reflection video gives a great overview of what it means to engage in critical reflection.
Models and Frameworks of Reflection
Many theorists have written about reflection and created models to represent their view of reflection. The models are represented diagrammatically and generally have guiding questions that can be used as a framework to structure reflection. The model is the representation. The framework provides the structure. Several models and frameworks are provided (in chronological order). See if you can notice the similarities and differences.
When developing your portfolio for assessment in the course, you may like to choose a model or framework which suits your learning style and context, and use it to guide your reflections. The context (e.g., health or education) for which each was developed is indicated.
- Nine dimensions of reflective practice from the (2009) thesis by Paula Zwozdiak-Myers. Context: Education.
- John's Model of Structured Reflection (MSR) (2006) was designed for health practitioners. It has several prompting questions. Context: Nursing.
- This review of Rodgers Reflective Cycle . It is based on this article : Rodgers, C. (2002). Voices Inside Schools. Seeing Student Learning: Teacher Change and the Role of Reflection. Harvard Educational Review, 72 (2), 230-254. Context: Education.
- Driscoll's model (2000) has three stages: What, So what, What now? Context: Health.
- The Atkins and Murphy model of reflection was developed in 1994. It has model has five phases. The emphasis here is on uncomfortable or new experiences and challenges, and what was learned. Context: Nursing.
- Gibbs' Reflective Cycle (1988) represents a model with seven stages. The prompting questions begin with the context of what happened and ends with future actions. Context: Health.
- Boud, Keogh and Walker: Reflection and Learning (n.d.) Good Practice for Leaders and Managers. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20130910094732/http://toolkit.goodpractice.com/mdt/resources/development-cycle/training-cycle-evaluation/boud-keogh-and-walker-reflection-and-learning
References and Further Reading
- Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press. (Reprinted in H. Friedman [Ed.], Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998).
- Biggs, J. (1988). The role of the metacognition in enhancing learning. Australian Journal of Education, 32 ,127-138.
- Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (1985). Promoting reflection in learning: a model. In D. Boud, R. Keogh, & D. Walker (Eds.), Reflection: turning experience into learning (pp. 18-40). London: Kogan Page.
- Boud, D., & Walker, D. (1990). Making the most of experience. Studies in Continuing Education, 12 (2), 61-80. doi:10.1080/0158037900120201
- Dewey, J. (1933). How we think . New York: D.C. Heath and Company.
- Fook, J., White, S., & Gardner, F. (2006). Critical reflection: a review of contemporary literature and understandings. In S. White, J. Fook, & F. Gardner (Eds.), Critical reflection in health and social care . Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press.
- Hatton, N., & Smith, D. (1995). Reflection in teacher education: towards definition and implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11 (1), 33-49. doi:10.1016/0742-051X(94)00012-U
- Hegarty, B. (2011a). A Framework to guide professional learning and reflective practice . Doctor of Education thesis, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3720
- Hegarty, B. (2011b). Is reflective writing an enigma? Can preparing evidence for an electronic
- Illeris, K. (2008). Towards a contemporary and comprehensive theory of learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 22 (4), 396 - 406.
- Menary, R. (2007). Writing as thinking. Language Sciences, 29 (5), 621–632. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2007.01.005
- Moon, J. (2007). Getting the measure of reflection: considering matters of definition and depth. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice 6 (4), 191-200. doi: 10.1017/S1460396907006188
- Ryken, K., & Salganik, L. (eds) (2005). The Definition and Selection of Key Competencies: Executive Summary. DeSeCo project. Neuchâtel: Federal Statistical Office. Retrieved from http://www.deseco.admin.ch/bfs/deseco/en/index/02.html/
- Schön, D. (Ed.). (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. USA: Basic Books Inc.
- Schön, D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Zwozdiak-Myers, P. (2012). The Teacher's Reflective Practice Handbook . Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
- Zwozdiak-Myers, P. (2012). The teacher's reflective practice handbook . Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
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Gibbs reflective Cycle
Gibbs Reflective Cycle is named after Professor Graham Gibbs, University of Oxford. After setting up the Open University’s Centre for Higher Education Practice, in 2004 Graham was appointed Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Learning at Oxford University. Gibbs first outlined the Reflective Cycle in 1988 in Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford.
Gibbs Model for Reflection
One of the most popular models for reflection, entailing a six step process which is one of the few models which take emotions into account.
The Reflective Cycle
Six stages of GIBBS Reflective Cycle TEMPLATE
1) Description Describe as a matter of fact just what happened during your critical incident or chosen episode for reflection.
2) Feelings What were you thinking and feeling at the time?
3) Evaluation List points or tell the story about what was GOOD and what was BAD about the experience.
4) Analysis What sense can you make out of the situation. What does it mean?
5) Conclusion What else could you have done. What should you perhaps not have done.
6) Action Plan If it arose again, what would you do differently. How will you adapt your practice in the light of this new understanding?
Six stages of GIBBS Reflective Cycle CASE 2
Working on an ambulance with my colleague, we received a call to a nursing home for an elderly female "fallen". When we arrived on scene we were met by staff who informed us that the lady had missed her seat as she went to sit down and landed heavily on the floor. Approaching the female I could see that the area she had landed on was carpeted and that she was of slight build and elderly and seemed in a great deal of pain. Her RIGHT leg was shortened and rotated.
My first concern was that this lady had obviously sustained a RIGHT hip fracture and had the potential of a serious internal bleed. I was also concerned whether it was indeed a simple 'slip' or whether there was any underlying condition that had caused her fall. Rao SS (2005) stated that causes of falls in older people are usually multi factoral but can include: Accident and environmental hazards 31%, Gait and balace disorders 17%, Dizzines and vertigo 13% Drop attack 9%, Confusion 5%, Visual disorders 2%, Syncope 0.3%, Arthritis, acute illness, drugs, alcohol, apin, epilepsy & falls from bed 15%, unknown 5%. I ascertained from my history taking that this lady suffered from dementia and was stage four on the Global Deterioration Scale as identified by B Reisberg, SH Ferris, MJ De Leon & T Crook (1982). This is described as Early Dementia and meant that she was at a stage in her condition where she could no longer function without assistance, was unable to recall major events, home address, phone number or names of her children. She was also taking more than 4 medications for this condition including drugs for depression which could have been a contributing factor as stated in the American Family Physician (2000).
I was pleased to see that the lady, although in a great deal of pain, appeared to have sustained no other outward physical injury. Her observations were within the normal range and her circulation appeared normal. My major concern was that this call had been classified 'green' in accordance with Government guidelines, and she had, therefore, been lying in this condition for over an hour.
This elderly female suffered with dementia but otherwise enjoyed good health,she lived in a nursing home specialising in care of the Elderly Mentally Ill. I was satisfied to learn that she had no previous history of falls and that there had been no change to her medication within the last two months, a recent report (American Family Physician, 2000) stated that the elderly were prone to falls following a change in medication. I was satisfied with her observations and that she appeared to be her normal self.
I feel that the whole process went very smoothly, the lady received pain relief through an IV cannula thus making her move on to the ambulance trolley as smooth and pain free as possible. I explored the history thoroughly and I do not think there was anything that I should not have done.
I will continue to reflect and study the causes of falls to further my knowledge. I will seek to contact the local Slips, Trips and Falls Team to gain advice on how they deal with patients who have falls regularly and to see whether I can perhaps put into practice some of their advice to better the service that I can provide to the elderly patient.
Six stages of GIBBS Reflective Cycle CASE 1 1) Description Describe as a matter of fact just what happened during your critical incident or chosen episode for reflection.
Working with an experienced ECP to update practice. Call received as collapsed patient in a modern sheltered accomodation. On arrival elderly gentleman had been helped, first to sit on a wall and then walked into the lounge. Minor haematoma to the Right side, parietal area, approx 3 cm. No history of unconsciousness.
First impressions of the patient were that he was alert, dignified and lucid and moved quite well. He seemed shaken and a little pale. Thought about the mechanics of injury and, as my colleague was doing initial checks, went to check out site of fall; did the surface contribute, did he land on grass, concrete.
Pleased to see that the man did not appear to have sustained injury. Checks carried out on his neck revealed no abnormalies detected, with normal range of movement. Recalled history prior and post event. Fell back against wall and to the ground slowly after losing his nerve on a sloping part. No dizziness, faintness, dyspnoea or chest pains. No injury or pain detected, movement checked in right wrist, elbow and shoulder. Moves legs freely and can stand now, unaided. Did not ask for an Ambulance and did not want hospital treatment. Gentleman in the habit of walking freely around the accomodation often during the day.
This 96 year old man has maintained a high degree of independance, despite a history of aortic valve replacement. It seems that he had a fright while negotiating a sloping cobbled and made glacing contact with a wall as he went, fairly gradually, to the floor. The event has shaken him somewhat. Observations including TPR B.P. and Blood Glucose are in the normal range. ECG monitored.Sum of physical injury semms to be a small haematoma, as per R.N.C form
Patient's son in attendance soon after our arrival. He was supportive and attentive and agreed to stay with his father for thw evening. Spoke to patient son and warden with S.O.S. advice in the case of vomitting, visual disturbance, headaches drowsiness
We were sufficiently convinced that the slope of the cobbles were a major factor in the fall. I feared for the effect on the patient's confidence and the resultant effect on his mobility. In hindsight I would advise on the use of a stick or other walking aid as well as avoiding areas like sloping cobbles. Also in hindsight-is this an appropriate floor surface for sheltered accomodation?
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3.1 schön's model of reflective practice, 3.2.1 greenaway 3-stage model, 3.2.2 gibbs’ reflective cycle (1988), 3.2.3 johns’ model for structured reflection (1994), 3.2.4 structured reflection based on kolb’s learning cycle (1984), 3.2.5 rolfe et al (2001) framework for reflexive practice, 3.2.6 atkins and murphy’s stage model of reflection (1994), 4.1 promoting reflection-on-action, 4.2 promoting reflection-in-action, 4.3.1 assessing reflective writing, 5 the role of technologies in reflection, 6 related articles, 7 related links, 8 references.
Reflection is a metacognitive strategy to help learners as individuals or organizations reflect upon experiences, actions and decisions taken. A practitioner engages in reflection when problem in practice arises and an attempt is made to understand and resolve it. Reflection as a pedagogy can be seen as an application of Dewey's experiential learning theories and extension to problem-based learning based on constructivist values. Reflection involves an active exploration of experiences to gain new or greater understanding.
Reflective thought as a learning process was first given importance and described by Dewey in How We Think (1933) as an 'active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends' (Dewey 1933: 118 in Smith 1999). He described 5 types of thought related to reflection that could be interpreted as a process.
- leap to possible solutions
- intellectualization of problematic experience into problem to be solved
- use of hypotheses to guide further observation and information gathering
- elaboration of ideas in to a reasoned supposition
- experimentation and testing of hypotheses
3 Models of reflection
Reflection is presented as a cyclical stage process and many stage process models of reflection have been proposed to be used as metacognitive tools . The models all share some variation of three basic stages: experience (the event and feelings toward it), a critical analysis of the situation and any new knowledge gained, development of and internalization of new perspectives and strategies to apply in the future.
Donald Schön looked at differentiating the tacit knowledge inherent in expert practitioners from explicit technical or theoretical knowledge, defining the notions of reflection-in-action (the use of a repertoire of theories, examples and actions to new situations, i.e. the capacity to think what one is doing while doing it) reflection-on-action (looking at the event or problem and how it was dealt with afterwards) (Schön, 1983).
The practice of using reflection as a learning strategy appears to focus on turning the latter into the former, so that learners may better capitalize on the learning opportunities offered in a particular experience and internalize the knowledge gained through their experience in order to build up a repertoire to draw upon in the future.
3.2 Other models
Based on a simple 3-stage experiential learning cycle the Greenaway model suggests a Plan>>Do>>Review>> cycle
More of a list of key questions to guide an analysis of a incident or general experience. Johns recognizes the benefits of sharing reflections which is an essential part of building a community of practice and the importance of the 'situatedness' of an incident as highlighted by the attention given to influencing factors and learning as involving considering actions to support others.
- Description: Drawing out of the key issues within an experience through a description of thoughts and feelings and contextual background of the experience
- Reflection: Examination of one's motivations and the resulting actions, the consequences of actions for all stakeholders (including their possible emotional reactions).
- Influencing factors: Determining internal and external factors that influenced decisions and actions.Determine knowledge that did or should have influenced decisions and actions.
- Alternative strategies: Evaluation of one's actions and consideration of other possible choices and their respective consequences.
- Learning: Situating the experience and feelings within past experience and future practice and in providing support to others and considering the impact the experience will have on reflection-in-action.
A model based directly on Kolb's experiential learning cycle where active experimentation leads to a transfer of learning from current cycle to a new cycle.
based on model described at 
What? >> So what? >> Now what?
adapted from Atkins S, Murphy K (1994) found at 
4 Use of reflection in education
Any and any combination of these have been suggested as ways to enhance reflection-on-action (Sherwood, 2005; )
- Reflective writing in journals or blogs
- Video and Audio taping
- Critical incident technique - identifying particular helpful or unhelpful behaviours in a specific critical situation
- Drawing/ Concept mapping
- Role playing
- Using spreadsheets, e.g. like Mariana Garcia in Experience Points for Student Goal Setting
According to KBenetos , here the methods become a little more esoteric, but the aim of these activities are to provide physical relaxation and mental awareness and grounding that will enhance reflection in a particular situation.
- Meditation/Yoga/Physical activity
4.3 Reflective writing
Writing assignments that require students to engage in critical and reflective thinking can be used in a variety of learning situations and across many disciplines. Reflective writing can include the use of readings, observation and experience related to the learning situation in question. Reflective writing assignments can be highly structured as in a take-home exam or unstructured as in stream-of-consciousness writing. Reflective writing may also be inwardly or outwardly focused depending on the degree to which reflection is directed towards self-awareness or development of domain content (Varner & Peck, 2003).
Types of reflective writing assisgmnents taken from Varner & Peck (2003, p. 4)
Marchel (2004) suggests a rubric to evaluate reflective writing. The rubric evaluates three levels of reflection and awareness:
- Level I: Descriptive - description of the situation and the reactions of all involved
- Level II: Analytical - analysis of context and consideration of the other and their interrelations
- Level III: Integrated - discussion of one's feelings and reactions and their impact in the particular and possible broader contexts with a focus on future actions
The three levels are examined from the perpectives of the reflective practitioner (student), other stakeholders (client) and the particular context to discern the role each plays in the course of current and future events.
Table of Rubric for assessment of reflection in service learning journals from Marchel (2004).
In Marchel's rubric, the percentage of journal content pertaining to each level is tabulated over the course of multiple journal entries. The desired progression, indicative of an improvement in reflective capacities, is a move to greater portion of the reflective writing focusing on Level III-type reflections.
A variety of ICT -based tools can be used in reflective practice:
- Online journals or blogs for reflective writing
- Social software such as CSCL , CSCW , Chats and Wikis for synchronous and asynchronous discussions and sharing of stories and experiences
- Microworlds and MOOs for role-playing
Metacognition , Writing-to-learn , Situated learning , Experiential learning
- Using a model of reflection
- Experiential Learning Cycle .
- The Reflective Practitioner - some definitions of reflective practice
- Blogs as reflective practice - presented at the Online Educa Berlin eLearning conference in 2006
- Atkins S, Murphy K (1994) Reflective Practice. Nursing Standard 8(39)49-56.
- Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think, New York: D. C. Heath. Classic and highly influential discussion of thinking. in Smith, M.K. (1999). Reflection. article in the Encyclopaedia of Informal Education . 
- Facilitating reflective practice .Peer Review of Learning and Teaching page at Cardiff University. Cardiff University 2007
- Greenaway, R. (1988). Powerful Learning Experiences in Management Learning and Development 
- Marchel, Carol A. (2004). Evaluating Reflection and Sociocultural Awareness in Service Learning Classes, Teaching of Psychology , 31 (2) 120-123 .
- Mendoza-Calderón, Marco A.; Ramirez-Buentello, Joaquin. (2006). Facilitating Reflection Through ePortfolio at Tecnológico de Monterrey, IN Ali Jafari (Ed), Handbook of Research on ePortfolios. Hershey, USA. pp: 484-493 ISBN 1-59140-890-3.
- Moon, Jenny. (2005). Learning through reflection, Guide for Busy Academics 4, The Higher Education Academy. Word Doc
- Schön D (1983) The reflective practitioner. Basic Books: New York
- Sherwood, G. et al. (2005). The Scholarship of Reflective Practice, a resource paper from the Scholarship of Reflective Practice Task Force at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. 
- Varner, D., Peck, S. (2003). Learning From Learning Journals: The Benefits And Challenges Of Using Learning Journal. Journal of Management Education  ( Access restricted )
- Metacognition and learning strategies
- Learning theories
- Free Trial for Professionals
- Free for teachers
- Free for students
Gibbs Reflective Cycle by Graham Gibbs
Gibbs Reflective Cycle: this article explains the Gibbs Reflective Cycle by Graham Gibbs in a practical way. After reading it, you understand the core of this management and self-reflection tool.
This article contains also a downloadable and editable Gibbs Reflective Cycle template .
What is the Gibbs Reflective Cycle?
In 1988, the American sociologist and psychologist Graham Gibbs published his Reflective Cycle model in his book ‘ Learning by Doing ‘. Gibbs Reflective Cycle encourages people to think systematically about the experiences they had during a specific situation, event or activity.
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Using a circle, reflection on those experiences can be structured in phases . This often makes people think about an experience, activity or event in more detail, making them aware of their own actions and better able to adjust and change their behaviour.
By looking at both negative and positive impacts of the event, people can learn from it.
The Gibbs reflective cycle itself
The Gibbs Reflective Cycle starts at Description and then continues clockwise to Feelings , Evaluation , Analysis , Conclusion and ends at Action plan , to finally return to Description . Here the Gibbs reflective cycle is complete.
The various steps are explained in more detail below:
Step 1: Description
During this step, you describe the situation, event or activity in detail, without drawing any conclusions right away. The most common questions that can help create an objective description are:
- What happened?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Who were involved?
- What did you do yourself?
- What did other people do?
- What was the result of these actions?
It should be noted that important details must not be left out. For instance, why other people were involved in the situation in question. All information that is key to better understanding the situation is relevant.
Step 2: Feelings
This phase is about the feelings that the event triggered, as well as what someone’s thoughts were during the event, activity or situation described in step 1. The intention is not to discuss the feeling in detail or comment on it directly. Emotions don’t need to be evaluated or judged. Awareness is the most important goal of this phase. Helpful questions that are often used:
- What did you feel leading up to the event?
- What did you feel during the event?
- What did you feel after the event?
- How do you look back on the situation?
- What do you think other people felt during event?
- How do you think others feel about the event now?
Because people often have difficulty talking about their feelings, it helps that they’re encouraged by the questions or someone asking these questions.
This also demonstrates that the Gibbs Reflective Cycle can be used in an individual setting, or even in a coaching or counselling setting. The final two questions also allow one to see the event from other peoples’ perspectives.
Step 3: Evaluation
In this step, you ask yourself whether the experience of the event in step 1 was good or bad. Which approach worked well and in what way? Which approach didn’t work as well? It can be difficult for people to be objective about the situation. In order to still conduct a proper evaluation, the following questions may be helpful:
- What went well during the event or activity?
- Why was that?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What was your contribution?
- What contribution did other people make?
It is also worth evaluating bad experiences, because the subsequent steps in the Gibbs Reflective Cycle help people learn from it.
Step 4: Analysis
This phase is about what you have learned from the situation, event or activity. Because of the experience, you now know what to do in similar, future situations.
This means that both positive and negative things and/or problems you experienced will be written down and analysed individually. After all, people learn from mistakes. This analysis is often done together alongside step 3.
Step 5: Conclusion
This is the step where you take a step back and look at yourself from a distance and ask what else you could have done in this situation. The information gathered earlier is very valuable in this step and can encourage you to come to a good and useful conclusion. The following questions may be helpful:
- To what positive experience did the event, situation or activity lead?
- To what negative experience did the event, situation or activity lead?
- What will you do differently if the event, situation or activity were to happen again in the future?
- Which skills do you need to develop yourself in a similar event, situation or activity?
Step 6: Action plan
In this final step, actions are developed for future situations, events or activities. Based on the ‘Conclusions’ in the 5th step, people make concrete promises to themselves. The intention is to keep these promises. If everything went well, you can promise yourself to act the same way next time.
In areas where things didn’t go so well, you can promise yourself not to make the same mistakes again. What will be a more effective approach and which change will lead to actual improvement?
In addition to an action plan , it’s wise to also make a plan on how to encourage yourself to stick to these promises.
Thinking about one’s own experience can help to perform better or do things differently in the future. As the above shows, these experiences don’t have to be positive; negative experiences are also useful.
Next time a similar situation presents itself, you’ll know it’s better to approach the situation in a different way. It stimulates you to think long and hard about how to do things better next time. This is what Gibbs Reflective Cycle is all about.
People don’t just learn to understand certain situations better, but also learn to judge how the same situation can be handled in different ways in the future.
Gibbs reflective cycle : How to use it
Gibbs Reflective Cycle can be used in a variety of ways. First of all, any individual can use the cycle. If you’re open to actively changing yourself, the Reflective Cycle can be a helpful tool.
Coaches also use the Cycle to make their coaches aware of (unwanted) behaviour and find ways together for the coach to react differently to a situation.
In addition, the Reflective Cycle is often used in higher education. Especially when carrying out internship assignments, the cycle can be a good tool to make an intern aware of his or her actions. The part about how you’ll handle a similar situation differently in the future is specifically aimed at reflecting on one’s own actions.
After all, at the end of an internship period an intern should have developed him / herself enough to carry out internship assignments independently and behave professionally.
Gibbs Reflective Cycle template
Start reflecting on your experiences and actions with this editable Gibbs Reflecting Cycle template.
Download the Gibbs Reflecting Cycle template
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Now it is your turn
What do you think? What are your experiences with the Gibbs Reflective Cycle. How do you encourage people to think systematically about past experiences? Are you already using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle and do you have tips and tricks, or would you like to add anything?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Finlay, L. (2008). Reflecting on reflective practice . PBPL paper, 52, 1-27.
- Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods . Oxford: Oxford Further Education Unit
- Gibbs, G. (1998). Reviewing and improving your teaching . Practice Guide, 7, H851.
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Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one's actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. According to one definition it involves "paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively. This leads to developmental insight". A key rationale for reflective practice is that experience alone does not necessarily lead to learning; deliberate reflection on experience is essential. Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where people learn from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal learning or knowledge transfer. It may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement. It is also an important way to bring together theory and practice; through reflection a person is able to see and label forms of thought and theory within the context of his or her work. A person who reflects throughout his or her practice is not just looking back on past actions and events, but is taking a conscious look at emotions, experiences, actions, and responses, and using that information to add to his or her existing knowledge base and reach a higher level of understanding.
1. History and Background
Donald Schön's 1983 book The Reflective Practitioner introduced concepts such as reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action which explain how professionals meet the challenges of their work with a kind of improvisation that is improved through practice. [ 1 ] However, the concepts underlying reflective practice are much older. Earlier in the 20th century, John Dewey was among the first to write about reflective practice with his exploration of experience, interaction and reflection. [ 2 ] Soon thereafter, other researchers such as Kurt Lewin and Jean Piaget were developing relevant theories of human learning and development. [ 3 ] Some scholars have claimed to find precursors of reflective practice in ancient texts such as Buddhist teachings [ 4 ] and the Meditations of Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius. [ 5 ]
Central to the development of reflective theory was interest in the integration of theory and practice, the cyclic pattern of experience and the conscious application of lessons learned from experience. Since the 1970s, there has been a growing literature and focus around experiential learning and the development and application of reflective practice.
As adult education professor David Boud and his colleagues explained: "Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it. It is this working with experience that is important in learning." [ 6 ] When a person is experiencing something, he or she may be implicitly learning; however, it can be difficult to put emotions, events, and thoughts into a coherent sequence of events. When a person rethinks or retells events, it is possible to categorize events, emotions, ideas, etc., and to compare the intended purpose of a past action with the results of the action. Stepping back from the action permits critical reflection on a sequence of events. [ 7 ]
The emergence in more recent years of blogging has been seen as another form of reflection on experience in a technological age. [ 8 ]
Many models of reflective practice have been created to guide reasoning about action.
2.1. Borton 1970
Terry Borton's 1970 book Reach, Touch, and Teach popularized a simple learning cycle inspired by Gestalt therapy composed of three questions which ask the practitioner: What , So what , and Now what ? [ 9 ] Through this analysis, a description of a situation is given which then leads into the scrutiny of the situation and the construction of knowledge that has been learnt through the experience. Subsequently, practitioners reflect on ways in which they can personally improve and the consequences of their response to the experience. Borton's model was later adapted by practitioners outside the field of education, such as the field of nursing and the helping professions. [ 10 ]
2.2. Kolb and Fry 1975
Learning theorist David A. Kolb was highly influenced by the earlier research conducted by John Dewey and Jean Piaget. Kolb's reflective model, which also draws from the works of Kurt Lewin, [ 11 ] highlights the concept of experiential learning and is centered on the transformation of information into knowledge. [ 12 ] This takes place after a situation has occurred, and entails a practitioner reflecting on the experience, gaining a general understanding of the concepts encountered during the experience, and then testing these general understandings in a new situation. [ 11 ] In this way, the knowledge that is formed from a situation is continuously applied and reapplied, building on a practitioner's prior experiences and knowledge. [ 13 ]
2.3. Argyris and Schön 1978
Management researchers Chris Argyris and Donald Schön introduced the "theory of action", which emerged out of their previous research on relationship between people and organizations. [ 14 ] This theory defines learning as detection and correction of error. [ 14 ] [ 15 ] It included the distinction between single-loop learning and double-loop learning in 1978. Single-loop learning is when a practitioner or organisation, even after an error has occurred and a correction is made, continues to rely on current strategies, techniques or policies when a situation again comes to light. Double-loop learning involves the modification of objectives, strategies or policies so that when a similar situation arises a new framing system is employed. [ 16 ]
Schön claimed to derive the notions of "reflection-on-action, reflection-in-action, responding to problematic situations, problem framing, problem solving, and the priority of practical knowledge over abstract theory" from the writings of John Dewey, although education professor Harvey Shapiro has argued that Dewey's writings offer "more expansive, more integrated notions of professional growth" than do Schön's. [ 17 ]
Schön advocated two types of reflective practice. Firstly, reflection-on-action, which involves reflecting on an experience that you have already had, or an action that you have already taken, and considering what could have been done differently, as well as looking at the positives from that interaction. The other type of reflection Schön notes is reflection-in-action, or reflecting on your actions as you are doing them, and considering issues like best practice throughout the process.
For Schön, professional growth really begins when a person starts to view things with a critical lens, by doubting his or her actions. Doubt brings about a way of thinking that questions and frames situations as "problems". Through careful planning and systematic elimination of other possible problems, doubt is settled, and people are able to affirm their knowledge of the situation. Then people are able to think about possible situations and their outcomes, and deliberate about whether they carried out the right actions.
2.4. Gibbs 1988
Learning researcher Graham Gibbs discussed the use of structured debriefing to facilitate the reflection involved in Kolb's experiential learning cycle. Gibbs presents the stages of a full structured debriefing as follows: [ 18 ]
- (Initial experience)
- Description "What happened? Don't make judgements yet or try to draw conclusions; simply describe."
- Feelings "What were your reactions and feelings? Again don't move on to analysing these yet."
- Evaluation "What was good or bad about the experience? Make value judgements."
- Analysis "What sense can you make of the situation? Bring in ideas from outside the experience to help you." "What was really going on?" "Were different people's experiences similar or different in important ways?"
- Conclusions (general) "What can be concluded, in a general sense, from these experiences and the analyses you have undertaken?"
- Conclusions (specific) "What can be concluded about your own specific, unique, personal situation or way of working?"
- Personal action plans "What are you going to do differently in this type of situation next time?" "What steps are you going to take on the basis of what you have learnt?"
Gibbs' suggestions are often cited as "Gibbs' reflective cycle" or "Gibbs' model of reflection", and simplified into the following six distinct stages to assist in structuring reflection on learning experiences: [ 19 ]
- Action plan
2.5. Johns 1995
Professor of nursing Christopher Johns designed a structured mode of reflection that provides a practitioner with a guide to gain greater understanding of his or her practice. [ 20 ] It is designed to be carried out through the act of sharing with a colleague or mentor, which enables the experience to become learnt knowledge at a faster rate than reflection alone. [ 21 ]
Johns highlights the importance of experienced knowledge and the ability of a practitioner to access, understand and put into practice information that has been acquired through empirical means. Reflection occurs though "looking in" on one's thoughts and emotions and "looking out" at the situation experienced. Johns draws on the work of Barbara Carper to expand on the notion of "looking out" at a situation. [ 22 ] Five patterns of knowing are incorporated into the guided reflection: the aesthetic, personal, ethical, empirical and reflexive aspects of the situation. Johns' model is comprehensive and allows for reflection that touches on many important elements. [ 23 ]
2.6. Brookfield 1998
Adult education scholar Stephen Brookfield proposed that critically reflective practitioners constantly research their assumptions by seeing practice through four complementary lenses: the lens of their autobiography as learners of reflective practice, the lens of other learners' eyes, the lens of colleagues' experiences, and the lens of theoretical, philosophical and research literature. [ 24 ] Reviewing practice through these lenses makes us more aware of the power dynamics that infuse all practice settings. It also helps us detect hegemonic assumptions—assumptions that we think are in our own best interests, but actually work against us in the long run. [ 24 ] Brookfield argued that these four lenses will reflect back to us starkly different pictures of who we are and what we do.
- Lens 1: Our autobiography as a learner . Our autobiography is an important source of insight into practice. As we talk to each other about critical events in our practice, we start to realize that individual crises are usually collectively experienced dilemmas. Analyzing our autobiographies allows us to draw insight and meanings for practice on a deep visceral emotional level.
- Lens 2: Our learners' eyes . Seeing ourselves through learners' eyes, we may discover that learners are interpreting our actions in the way that we mean them. But often we are surprised by the diversity of meanings people read into our words and actions. A cardinal principle of seeing ourselves through learners' eyes is that of ensuring the anonymity of their critical opinions. We have to make learners feel safe. Seeing our practice through learners' eyes helps us teach more responsively.
- Lens 3: Our colleagues' experiences . Our colleagues serve as critical mirrors reflecting back to us images of our actions. Talking to colleagues about problems and gaining their perspective increases our chance of finding some information that can help our situation.
- Lens 4: Theoretical literature . Theory can help us "name" our practice by illuminating the general elements of what we think are idiosyncratic experiences.
Reflective practice has been described as an unstructured or semi-structured approach directing learning, and a self-regulated process commonly used in health and teaching professions, though applicable to all professions. [ 1 ] [ 6 ] [ 25 ] Reflective practice is a learning process taught to professionals from a variety of disciplines, with the aim of enhancing abilities to communicate and making informed and balanced decisions. Professional associations such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners are recognizing the importance of reflective practice and require practitioners to prepare reflective portfolios as a requirement to be licensed, and for yearly quality assurance purposes.
The concept of reflective practice has found wide application in the field of education, for learners, teachers and those who teach teachers (teacher educators). Tsangaridou & O'Sullivan (1997) define reflection in education as "the act of thinking about, analyzing, assessing, or altering educational meanings, intentions, beliefs, decisions, actions, or products by focusing on the process of achieving them … The primary purpose of this action is to structure, adjust, generate, refine, restructure, or alter knowledge and actions that inform practice. Microreflection gives meaning to or informs day-to-day practice, and macroreflection gives meaning to or informs practice over time". [ 26 ] Reflection is the key to successful learning for teachers and for learners.
Students can benefit from engaging in reflective practice as it can foster the critical thinking and decision making necessary for continuous learning and improvement. [ 27 ] When students are engaged in reflection, they are thinking about how their work meets established criteria; they analyze the effectiveness of their efforts, and plan for improvement. [ 27 ] Rolheiser and et al. (2000) assert that "Reflection is linked to elements that are fundamental to meaningful learning and cognitive development: the development of metacognition – the capacity for students to improve their ability to think about their thinking; the ability to self-evaluate - the capacity for students to judge the quality of their work based on evidence and explicit criteria for the purpose of doing better work; the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making; and the enhancement of teacher understanding of the learner." (p 31-32)
When teachers teach metacognitive skills, it promotes student self-monitoring and self-regulation that can lead to intellectual growth, increase academic achievement, and support transfer of skills so that students are able to use any strategy at any time and for any purpose. [ 28 ] Guiding students in the habits of reflection requires teachers to approach their role as that of "facilitator of meaning-making" – they organize instruction and classroom practice so that students are the producers, not just the consumers, of knowledge. [ 29 ] Rolheiser and colleagues (2000) state that "When students develop their capacity to understand their own thinking processes, they are better equipped to employ the necessary cognitive skills to complete a task or achieve a goal. Students who have acquired metacognitive skills are better able to compensate for both low ability and insufficient information." (p. 34)
The Ontario Ministry of Education (2007) [ 30 ] describes many ways in which educators can help students acquire the skills required for effective reflection and self-assessment, including: modelling and/or intentionally teaching critical thinking skills necessary for reflection and self-assessment practices; addressing students' perceptions of self-assessment; engaging in discussion and dialogue about why self-assessment is important; allowing time to learn self-assessment and reflection skills; providing many opportunities to practice different aspects of the self-assessment and reflection process; and ensuring that parents/guardians understand that self-assessment is only one of a variety of assessment strategies that is utilized for student learning.
The concept of reflective practice is now widely employed in the field of teacher education and teacher professional development and many programs of initial teacher education claim to espouse it. [ 31 ] Education professor Hope Hartman has described reflective practice in education as teacher metacognition., [ 32 ] indicating there is broad consensus that teaching effectively requires a reflective approach. [ 33 ] [ 34 ] [ 35 ] Attard & Armour explain that "teachers who are reflective systematically collect evidence from their practice, allowing them to rethink and potentially open themselves to new interpretations". [ 36 ] Teaching and learning are complex processes, and there is not one right approach. Reflecting on different approaches to teaching, and reshaping the understanding of past and current experiences, can lead to improvement in teaching practices. [ 37 ] Schön's reflection-in-action can help teachers explicitly incorporate into their decision-making the professional knowledge that they gain from their experience in the classroom. [ 38 ]
As professor of education Barbara Larrivee argues, reflective practice moves teachers from their knowledge base of distinct skills to a stage in their careers where they are able to modify their skills to suit specific contexts and situations, and eventually to invent new strategies. [ 25 ] In implementing a process of reflective practice teachers will be able to move themselves, and their schools, beyond existing theories in practice. [ 37 ] Larrivee concludes that teachers should "resist establishing a classroom culture of control and become a reflective practitioner, continuously engaging in a critical reflection, consequently remaining fluid in the dynamic environment of the classroom". [ 25 ] It is important to note that, "the reflective process should eventually help the teacher to change, adapt and modify his/her teaching to the particular context. This does not happen in stages, but is a continuum of reflection, leading to change ... and further reflection". [ 36 ]
Without reflection, teachers are not able to look objectively at their actions or take into account the emotions, experience, or consequences of actions to improve their practice. It is argued that, through the process of reflection, teachers are held accountable to the standards of practice for teaching, such as those in Ontario: commitment to students and student learning, professional knowledge, professional practice, leadership in learning communities, and ongoing professional learning. [ 39 ] Overall, through reflective practice, teachers look back on their practice and reflect on how they have supported students by treating them "equitably and with respect and are sensitive to factors that influence individual student learning". [ 39 ]
For students to acquire necessary skills in reflection, their teachers need to be able to teach and model reflective practice (see above); similarly, teachers themselves need to have been taught reflective practice during their initial teacher education, and to continue to develop their reflective skills throughout their career.
However, Mary Ryan has noted that students are often asked to "reflect" without being taught how to do so, [ 40 ] or without being taught that different types of reflection are possible; they may not even receive a clear definition or rationale for reflective practice. [ 41 ] Many new teachers do not know how to transfer the reflection strategies they learned in college to their classroom teaching. [ 35 ]
Some writers have advocated that reflective practice needs to be taught explicitly to student teachers because it is not an intuitive act; [ 40 ] [ 42 ] it is not enough for teacher educators to provide student teachers with "opportunities" to reflect: they must explicitly "teach reflection and types of reflection" and "need explicitly to facilitate the process of reflection and make transparent the metacognitive process it entails". [ 43 ] Larrivee noted that (student) teachers require "carefully constructed guidance" and "multifaceted and strategically constructed interventions" if they are to reflect effectively on their practice. [ 25 ]
Rod Lane and colleagues listed strategies by which teacher educators can promote a habit of reflective practice in pre-service teacher education, such as discussions of a teaching situation, reflective interviews or essays about one's teaching experiences, action research, or journaling or blogging. [ 44 ]
Neville Hatton and David Smith, in a brief literature review, concluded that teacher education programs do use a wide range of strategies with the aim of encouraging students teachers to reflect (e.g. action research, case studies, video-recording or supervised practicum experiences), but that "there is little research evidence to show that this [aim] is actually being achieved". [ 45 ]
The implication of all this is that teacher educators must also be highly skilled in reflective practice. Andrea Gelfuso and Danielle Dennis, in a report on a formative experiment with student teachers, suggested that teaching how to reflect requires teacher educators to possess and deploy specific competences. [ 46 ] However, Janet Dyment and Timothy O'Connell, in a small-scale study of experienced teacher educators, noted that the teacher educators they studied had received no training in using reflection themselves, and that they in turn did not give such training to their students; all parties were expected to know how to reflect. [ 47 ]
Many writers advocate for teacher educators themselves to act as models of reflective practice. [ 48 ] [ 49 ] This implies that the way that teacher educators teach their students needs to be congruent with the approaches they expect their students to adopt with pupils; teacher educators should not only model the way to teach, but should also explain why they have chosen a particular approach whilst doing so, by reference to theory; this implies that teacher educators need to be aware of their own tacit theories of teaching and able to connect them overtly to public theory. [ 50 ] However, some teacher educators do not always "teach as they preach"; [ 51 ] they base their teaching decisions on "common sense" more than on public theory [ 52 ] and struggle with modelling reflective practice. [ 48 ]
Tom Russell, in a reflective article looking back on 35 years as teacher educator, concurred that teacher educators rarely model reflective practice, fail to link reflection clearly and directly to professional learning, and rarely explain what they mean by reflection, with the result that student teachers may complete their initial teacher education with "a muddled and negative view of what reflection is and how it might contribute to their professional learning". [ 49 ] For Russell, these problems result from the fact that teacher educators have not sufficiently explored how theories of reflective practice relate to their own teaching, and so have not made the necessary "paradigmatic changes" which they expect their students to make. [ 49 ]
Reflective practice "is a term that carries diverse meaning" [ 39 ] and about which there is not complete consensus. Professor Tim Fletcher of Brock University argues forward-thinking is a professional habit, but we must reflect on the past to inform how it translates into the present and future. Always thinking about 'what's next' rather than 'what just happened' can constrain an educator's reflective process. The concept of reflection is difficult as beginning teachers are stuck between "the conflicting values of schools and universities" and "the contradictory values at work within schools and within university faculties and with the increasing influence of factors external to school and universities such as policy makers". [ 53 ] Conflicting opinions make it difficult to direct the reflection process, as it is hard to establish what values you are trying to align with. It is important to acknowledge reflective practice "follows a twisting path that involves false starts and detours". [ 53 ] Meaning once you reflect on an issue it cannot be set aside as many assume. Newman refers to Gilroy's assertion that "the 'knowledge' produced by reflection can only be recognized by further reflection, which in turn requires reflection to recognize it as knowledge". In turn, reflective practice cannot hold one meaning, it is contextual based on the practitioner. It is argued that the term 'reflection' shouldn't be used as there are associations to it being "more of a hindrance than a help". It is suggested the term is referred to 'critical practice' or 'practical philosophy' to "suggest an approach which practitioners can adopt in the different social context in which they find themselves". [ 54 ] Finally, Oluwatoyin discusses some disadvantages and barriers to reflective practice as, feeling stress by reflecting on negative issues and frustration from not being able to solve those identified issues, and time constraints. Finally, with reflection often taking place independently, educators lack the motivation and assistance in tackling these difficult problems. It is suggested that teachers communicate with one another, or have an indicated individual to talk to, this way there is external informed feedback. [ 55 ] Overall, before engaging in reflective practice it is important to be aware of the challenges.
3.2. Health Professionals
Reflective practice is viewed as an important strategy for health professionals who embrace lifelong learning. Due to the ever-changing context of healthcare and the continual growth of medical knowledge, there is a high level of demand on healthcare professionals' expertise. Due to this complex and continually changing environment, healthcare professionals could benefit from a program of reflective practice. [ 56 ]
Adrienne Price explained that there are several reasons why a healthcare practitioner would engage in reflective practice: to further understand one's motives, perceptions, attitudes, values, and feelings associated with client care; to provide a fresh outlook to practice situations and to challenge existing thoughts, feelings, and actions; and to explore how the practice situation may be approached differently. [ 57 ] In the field of nursing there is concern that actions may run the risk of habitualisation, thus dehumanizing patients and their needs. [ 58 ] In using reflective practice, nurses are able to plan their actions and consciously monitor the action to ensure it is beneficial to their patient. [ 58 ]
The act of reflection is seen as a way of promoting the development of autonomous, qualified and self-directed professionals, as well as a way of developing more effective healthcare teams. [ 59 ] Engaging in reflective practice is associated with improved quality of care, stimulating personal and professional growth and closing the gap between theory and practice. [ 60 ] Medical practitioners can combine reflective practice with checklists (when appropriate) to reduce diagnostic error. [ 61 ]
Activities to promote reflection are now being incorporated into undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education across a variety of health professions. [ 62 ] Professor of medical education Karen Mann and her colleagues found through a 2009 literature review that in practicing professionals the process of reflection appears to include a number of different aspects, and practicing professionals vary in their tendency and ability to reflect. They noted that the evidence to support curricular interventions and innovations promoting reflective practice remains largely theoretical. [ 62 ]
Samantha Davies identified benefits as well as limitations to reflective practice: [ 63 ]
Benefits to reflective practice include:
- Increased learning from an experience or situation
- Promotion of deep learning
- Identification of personal and professional strengths and areas for improvement
- Identification of educational needs
- Acquisition of new knowledge and skills
- Further understanding of own beliefs, attitudes and values
- Encouragement of self-motivation and self-directed learning
- Could act as a source of feedback
- Possible improvements of personal and clinical confidence
Limitations to reflective practice include:
- Not all practitioners may understand the reflective process
- May feel uncomfortable challenging and evaluating own practice
- Could be time-consuming
- May have confusion as to which situations/experiences to reflect upon
- May not be adequate to resolve clinical problems [ 57 ]
3.3. Environmental Management and Sustainability
The use of reflective practice in environmental management, combined with system monitoring, is often called adaptive management . [ 64 ] There is some criticism that traditional environmental management, which simply focuses on the problem at hand, fails to integrate into the decision making the wider systems within which an environment is situated. [ 65 ] While research and science must inform the process of environmental management, it is up to the practitioner to integrate those results within these wider systems. [ 66 ] In order to deal with this and to reaffirm the utility of environmental management, Bryant and Wilson propose that a "more reflective approach is required that seeks to rethink the basic premises of environmental management as a process". [ 65 ] This style of approach has been found to be successful in sustainable development projects where participants appreciated and enjoyed the educational aspect of utilizing reflective practice throughout. However, the authors noted the challenges with melding the "circularity" of reflective practice theory with the "doing" of sustainability. [ 67 ]
3.4. Leadership Positions
Reflective practice provides a development opportunity for those in leadership positions. Managing a team of people requires a delicate balance between people skills and technical expertise, and success in this type of role does not come easily. Reflective practice provides leaders with an opportunity to critically review what has been successful in the past and where improvement can be made.
Reflective learning organizations have invested in coaching programs for their emerging and established leaders. [ 68 ] Leaders frequently engage in self-limiting behaviours because of their over-reliance on their preferred ways of reacting and responding. [ 69 ] Coaching can help support the establishment of new behaviours, as it encourages reflection, critical thinking and transformative learning. Adults have acquired a body of experience throughout their life, as well as habits of mind that define their world. [ 70 ] Coaching programs support the process of questioning and potentially rebuilding these pre-determined habits of mind. The goal is for leaders to maximize their professional potential, and in order to do this, there must be a process of critical reflection on current assumptions. [ 71 ]
3.5. Other Professions
Reflective practice can help any individual to develop personally, and is useful for professions other than those discussed above. It allows professionals to continually update their skills and knowledge and consider new ways to interact with their colleagues. David Somerville and June Keeling suggested eight simple ways that professionals can practice more reflectively: [ 72 ]
- Seek feedback: Ask "Can you give me some feedback on what I did?"
- Ask yourself "What have I learnt today?" and ask others "What have you learnt today?"
- Value personal strengths: Identify positive accomplishments and areas for growth
- View experiences objectively: Imagine the situation is on stage and you are in the audience
- Empathize: Say out loud what you imagine the other person is experiencing
- Keep a journal: Record your thoughts, feelings and future plans; look for emerging patterns
- Plan for the future: Plan changes in behavior based on the patterns you identified
- Create your own future: Combine the virtues of the dreamer, the realist, and the critic
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Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on one's actions so as to take a critical stance or attitude towards one's own practice and that of one's
Gibbs' Reflective Cycle ... One of the most famous cyclical models of reflection leading you through six stages exploring an experience:
Gibbs' suggestions are often cited as Gibbs' reflective cycle or Gibbs' model of reflection (1988), and simplified into the following six distinct stages:.
Reflective practice is a disposition to enquiry incorporating the process through which student, early career and experienced teachers structure
Describe as a matter of fact just what happened during your critical incident or chosen episode for reflection.
1 Greenaway 3-stage model; 3.2. · 2 Gibbs' reflective cycle (1988); 3.2. · 3 Johns' model for structured reflection (1994); 3.2. · 4 Structured
Gibbs' reflective cycle. Gibbs (1988, p.49) created his “structured debriefing” to support experiential learning. It was designed as a continuous cycle of
The Gibbs Reflective Cycle starts at Description and then continues clockwise to Feelings, Evaluation, Analysis, Conclusion and ends at Action
Adaptation of the Gibbs reflective model. https://handwiki.org/wiki/index.php?curid=1950855. Learning researcher Graham Gibbs discussed the
Adaptation of the Gibbs Reflective Model Reflective Listening, Reflective Practice, What Is Reflection,. More like this.
These eleven variables are grouped into three main characteristics: Learner; Environmental; Reflection Task. Gibbs Reflective CycleEdit. Context.