Reflection is not a new concept for many teachers and students but to transform it into effective reflective practice is a complex but worthwhile journey.
Many academic journals that I have been reading over the past ten days define reflective practice in different ways dependent on their focus audience.
Valverdi’s definition is one I would use for a formal staff meeting
Valverde (1982) viewed reflection as
“Examining one’s situation, behavior, practices, effectiveness, and accomplishments by asking: What am I doing and why? The self-evaluation that follows involves active, persistent, and careful consideration and contemplation of the practitioner’s beliefs and knowledge and leads to professional development, growth, and greater understanding of self and the profession.”
But Kottkamp’s definition says it simply and I would use this for informal situations with teachers and students because I feel that it is an easier definition to connect with and link to prior learning.
Kottkamp (1990) defined reflection as
“A cycle of paying deliberate attention to one’s own actions in relation to intentions . . . for the purpose of expanding one’s opinions and making decisions about improved ways of acting in the future, or in the midst of the action itself.”
The diagram below might be a simple visual to assist teachers and students to understand the layers that have to be explored to develop effective reflective skills.