3. Reflecting on Reflecting.

My reflective practice.

As a beginning teacher, during giving a lesson, my mind is firmly on the delivery of the lesson. I would get to the end of the lesson and think about how the lesson went and what I needed to do to improve. Schon (1983, cited in Finlay, 2008, p.3) would call this a reflection-on-action. It is a post-lesson reflection on my practice.  This is described in Finlay, (2008, p.3), “In the case of reflection-on-action, professionals are understood consciously to review, describe, analyse and evaluate their past practice with a view to gaining insight to improve future practice.”

Also in Finlay (2008, p.7), it states that introspection is the dominant mode of reflection. It is an individual and personal experience. It claims that what is lacking is, “any mutual, reciprocal, shared process”. While there may not be a model to follow, in my practice in 2015 I was in a semi-modern learning environment where myself and another teacher were following the same plan, but we had our own classrooms. During this time, as teachers, we would discuss how the lessons went, how it was changed during the lesson and how we can change it for the next time we taught that subject. This was recorded and referred to in planning sessions.

My reflective model.download (5)

Currently, the model I use closely reflects that of Boud, Keogh and Walker (1985). It is a three stage model as explained below.

STAGE ONE: Reflecting on an experience by mentally replaying what happened descriptively.

STAGE TWO: Attending to feelings from the experience- positive and negative- then letting go of any negative feelings.

STAGE THREE: Re-evaluate the experience through four sub-stages. [1. association- relating to new data. 2. integration- new relationships with data. 3. validation- determining the authenticity of new ideas. 4. appropriation- making the new knowledge your own]

This is the model that I unconsciously followed for the first year of my teacher career. There was no way I was able to think about the lesson and the student’s progress whilst teaching the lesson. This was not an effective model to be following as all the reflecting was done in retrospective. In essence, if I was able to mentally reflect during the lesson, I would not have wasted time teaching a lesson that wasn’t effective.

On it’s own, the model would be beneficial to the teacher as they would be able to see clearly the flaws and the positive aspects of the lesson. We would be able to change and improve the lesson for the future.

Future reflective model.

In Gibbs (1988, p.9) reflection model (Figure 1), is a cyclical model that is repeated after different occasions. In the future, I aim to use this model as a form of my own teaching reflection.

Figure 1

Ultimately, I want my practice to be the a motivator of change for my colleagues and students. It will give me more commitment to allowing my own professional practice to grow and be the foundation to which I grow my career. It will allow my teaching skills to recognise and embrace the differences in teachers as well as in my students. This is an important factor, especially in 2016 as I am teaching as part of a 4 teacher team. I need to be able to recognise their strengths, differences and make sure I motivate rather than demotivate. This will allow us to give  varied lesson plans, accommodating all different personalities and attributes of the students.



Boud, D., Keogh, R. and Walker, D. (1985) Promoting reflection in learning: a model. In D. Boud, R. Keogh and D. Walker (eds.) Reflection: turning experience into learning. London: Kogan Page.

Finlay, L. (2008). Reflecting on “Reflective practice.” Retrieved January 24, 2016, from http://www.open.ac.uk/opencetl/files/opencetl/file/ecms/web-content/Finlay-%282008%29-Reflecting-on-reflective-practice-PBPL-paper-52.pdf

Gibbs, G (1988) Learning by doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Polytechnic.

Schon, D.A. (1983) The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.

Photo sources:

  1. https://flipboard.com/@lallison21/reflections..-0jqokvndz
  2. http://smartblogs.com/education/2015/04/09/evolution-of-the-good-teacher/




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