Education and Training

Reflective Practice

This is a training session I gave as part of my Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTTLS) award. Please click on the link below to view the powerpoint presentation.

Reflective Practice in Health and Social Care


Aims and Objectives

Read through the aims and objectives to set the scene.


What is reflection all about?

Reflection was first introduced to health care professionals in the 1980’s. However reflection was born out of educational theorists, namely Dewey who stated that:

‘…we learn by doing and realising what came of what we did…’ (Dewey, 1938)

…we learn by thinking about our experiences, and by looking at our experiences in a new way we can develop personally and professionally…be better health care professionals, and even better teachers.

Reflection is cyclical

Reflective practice can be summarised as having 3 components

  1. Experiences that occur in a person’s personal or professional life
  2. The reflective processes that enable the person to learn and grow
  3. The action that results from the new perspectives and learning

Reflection never ends…it actually continues where we experience, reflect on that experience, develop new perspectives then experience again…it is a never ending process.

Why do we reflect?

Ask the learners to get into groups of 5 where they can discuss for a couple of minutes possible reasons for why we reflect! Get them to shout out their answers and write these on the whiteboard to formulate a mind map.

After they are written down, go through the slide to show what I came up with.


How do we reflect?

We base our reflections on what we call frameworks for reflection. There are many differing frameworks but these are 3 of the most common.

I will focus on Gibbs reflective cycle because I feel that it offers a simplified method of thinking and organising your reflections.

Description – this is usually a critical incident e.g. something that didn’t go the way you might have planned in your teaching practice.

Feelings – how did you feel about it going wrong? How do you think it might have impacted upon your learners?

Evaluation – what are the positives and negatives of the experience? Maybe you disadvantaged your learners in some way?

Analysis – when we analyse we give the reflection some measure. How do you think it went wrong, is there anything else that you could have done to make things have run better perhaps?

Conclusion – This sums the reflection up and enables you to conclude the experience to make sense of it all.

Action Plan – this is where we can set SMART goals to improve our practices. When we next experience the same situation we can reapply Gibbs to measure any change in our performance to see if we have developed personally and professionally.


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