Week 17 / My Reflective Practice



For this task I have chosen to use Jay and Johnson's (2000) Reflective Model. This model has three stages: descriptive, comparative and critical reflection. 


Stage one: Descriptive 
What is currently happening? 
In my practise, reflect-on-action and reflect-in-action thinking is happening. Normally for me, reflecting in action has occurred because of a specific task not meeting the needs of the learners. The lesson may have not worked and therefore it requires thinking in action to meet the needs. I often discuss solutions and options to any challenges that occur with my colleagues after the fact. Believing that this will help me to be better prepared with more options in the future. When thinking about reflecting on actions, I have been using a blog for the past three years to provide evidence for my Registered Teacher Criteria and also for my Appraisal. 
I reflect upon each unit of work at the end of the unit, with the aim to think forward and provide enough information for what I would change if I were to do this again in the future. 
I have always been encouraged to use Teaching as Inquiry and feel that this also creates avenues for specific reflecting on actions. 
I am feeling pretty confident in my ability to reflect upon what is happening within my class rooms and with my practise. I feel like my current practise is working for me, my students and provides evidence for reviewing my practise. I feel like I have a clear grasp on reflective practise and anything that I am learning or reading through Mindlab is only providing me with more evidence that I am on the right track. 

Stage Two: Comparative 
By looking at the 'Evaluate your reflective practise - March 2018', reading the class notes in the portal and reflecting upon the reading 'Reflecting on Reflective Practise' I believe that my reflective style does include elements of self awareness and critical thinking. In discussing this with my colleagues, I challenge assumptions and link this to the importance of context, always relating back to best practise. My appraisers describe me as reflective and a life-long learner. 
When looking at what is not working when it comes to reflecting, I would say time is a factor. Having the time to sit and reflect-on-actions can be a barrier. Reflecting during the action is a lot easier. At times I do not reflect on my actions until well after the fact - which means that the reflection is not as detailed or descriptive as it could be. So how can I improve this barrier?! I guess I could try to timetable it in weekly? Or at the end of the unit? We will see how this goes over the next term...  

Stage Three: Critical Reflection 
I guess the implications of this matter are that one can be negative when it comes to critical reflection and it is important to see criticality as an opportunity to better yourself. Often gaining insight from research can help support your thinking or can clarify why things may be going in a particular direction. 
It is important to reflect upon your practise often and there are many ways that you can do this. Talking to colleagues can help provide you with ideas or understandings that you may not have thought about previously. When reflecting upon your practise, you must not look at things in isolation and have a wide-lense, you need to not only be looking back but also thinking about the future. 

I think this model will be useful for reflection in the future. The hardest part of this reflection for me is that I feel that I am successful in my reflective practise and that there is not a lot that is not working or that I do not understand. Time is the only barrier, and I feel like that is something all of us educators are struggling with. 

My final understanding or reflection upon this subject is that it is hard to be critical when you are feeling that something is working well, but easier to be critical when it is not working. 

References: 

Finlay, L. (2009). Reflecting on reflective practice. Practice-based Professional Learning Centre, Open University. Retrieved from http://www.open.ac.uk/opencetl/sites/www.open.ac.uk.opencetl/files/files/ecms/web-content/Finlay-(2008)-Reflecting-on-reflective-practice-PBPL-paper-52.pdf

Jay, J.K. and Johnson, K.L. (2002). Capturing complexity: a typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 73-85.

Ministry of Education (2007) Teaching as inquiry. Retrieved from http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-stories/Case-studies/Teachers-as-learners-Inquiry/Teaching-as-inquiry 

SkillsTeamHullUni (2014) Reflective Writing. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoI67VeE3ds 

4 comments:

  1. Ironically, I have come to the same conclusions. When I look at the reading in the Mindlab portal, and relate my critical practice to the "reflexivity" model (Finlay, 2002, 2003), I find that I am only hitting the Introspection (solitary self-dialogue) and the Intersubjective Reflection (focus on the relational context, on the emergent, negotiated nature of practice) areas which is not even half way through the five different areas. As you mentioned in your Blog, the biggest barrier is time. I really like the following quote from (Finlay) "Moreover, busy, over-stretched professionals are likely to find reflective practice taxing and difficult. Bland, mechanical, routinised and unthinking ways of doing reflective practice are too often the result".

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    1. Interesting thoughts. I feel like at times we used the collaborative reflective conversations during Mindlab sessions. I guess the thing to note (also mentioned in the reading) is that it happens at a designated time and we are talking or solving problems in a different context to our own, rather than a shared process... But I still feel that it is more of an even playing field rather than a mentor/student approach.
      I also enjoy your quote! I guess when working with time we do or I do end up timetabling things in just to make sure that they are being done, which is not the most authentic context... is it better to do this than to not do it at all? That would be my question...

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  2. I found your blog post really interesting - you are an expert reflector! I had not really thought about the Inquiry Process being a reflection tool the same as a journal or blog, but of course it is. I suppose that I reflect more than I thought! For me time is also an issue. I like to reflect close to the activity or event, and then revisit a time later, and I really should set myself some reminders and book in some time. Critical vs critique has also been a point for me - my inner voice can be very critical (as in negative), and I think following a formal approach and a scaffold will hopefully turn this from a mainly negative voice to a constructive and positive feedback. Definitely need to bounce stuff colleagues more.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Monika. It is good to know that others out there are also finding that time is an issue!
      I hope that by experimenting with different models of reflective practise one will stand out as more natural for me. I can then use this as my inner voice!
      In terms of critique vs. critical thinking, I found the work that Joan Dalton has done around learning conversations very helpful. It may be worth a look for you too!

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