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Theoretical perspectives on reflection to professional development

Hi,
As part of my Early Years Educator pearl course, I have been asked to research theoretical perspectives on reflection on professional development and share the summary of my findings with others on an online forum. I have chosen to write about Kolb’s learning cycle and Gibbs reflective cycle. Reflective practice is a process in which you can express or reflect your idea about your work and action or others’ action and work. This process helps the reflective person to evaluate their work and actions or others to find out what was good in their work or action. what went wrong in action and what needs to do to improve your work and action further. For example, as an early-year practitioner, I am doing an activity with children, and the activity didn’t go well as I planned. by reflecting I could find out what was not right in the activity. maybe the activity that I planned was over the children’s age or stage of development or maybe it was below their stage of development and the children find it boring. So, by reflecting on my action, I could find out what was not right and went wrong and what can I do to develop my activity and work to progress further. As part of my research about the importance of reflection in relation to professional development, I am interested to talk about two reflective theories that greatly influenced my work.KOLB’S EXPERIMENTAL LEARNING THEORY 198Kolb’s experimental learning theory is made of a cycle model of learning, which contains four stages of the learning cycle. David KOLBs reflective cycle helps the reflective people to understand what they should involve in their reflective process to reflect on action.The four stages of the learning cycle are:1. Concrete Experience: what happened in an experience According to David Kolb’s reflective theory cycle, this is the first stage of the learning process. This is where something has been done or an experience has been gained.2. Reflective Observation: What did you notice about the experience? What did it make you think about?This is the second stage after an action has been done, and as a result, they gained the experience of their action. And now it is the time to reflect on that experience. This would include thinking about how it went, what went well, and what didn’t go well. This stage also relates to receiving feedback from others. In an Early Years setting this may be in terms of peer-to-peer observation.3. Abstract Conceptualisation: How might you change things?At this stage after reflecting on action experiences then the reflective people can conclude what they learned from their experience and what they could do to improve their experiences in an action further. 4. Active experiment: Try out your new ideas.This is the last stage of David Kolbs reflective theory where new ideas about an experience are put into practice. then it will lead back to the beginning cycle to continue learning, development, and reflection.Another reflective theory that I have researched and that I am interested in to discuss my finding is Gibbs’s cycle of reflection.GIBBS CYCLE OF REFLECTION 1988Gibbs’s cycle of reflection theory has 6 step cycles. the cycles are based on continuous learning through reflection.The 6 steps are:1. DescriptionWhat has happened?2. FeelingsThis step encourages you to think about how you have felt during the situation and whether these feelings had an impact on your experience.3. EvaluationAt this stage, you evaluate what has happened and think about what went well and what didn’t go well during an action or an activity.4. AnalysisAt this stage you analyse the situation thinking about why things went well or didn’t go well.5. ConclusionAt this stage the reflective person can come to conclude an experience. they will think about what they learned through the above stages of reflection and what things they could do differently next time to validate and improve their experiences.6. Action planAt last, after the reflective people collect different information through the above stages of the Gibbs cycle, they would put an action plan into place or a practice to change an experience that was not useful or was useful and add new experiences into the place.Both reflective cycles that I mentioned above are beneficial in terms of professional development. When we go through the cycles, they are based on learning and reflecting on our experiences. I will try to take advantage of these theories. I will use Kolb’s cycle theory while I am planning an activity in my setting. I will carry out a reflection on my planned activity. I will follow his reflective cycles to find out what happened in my planned activity .and then I will reflect on the activity to find out what went well and what didn’t go well in the activity. And then I will find out and change things in the activity. For example, maybe my planned activity is over the children’s stage, and it is hard for them to gain their target. So, I will put new ideas into the activity to help children gain their potential.In my point of view, reflection is an important part of professional development. By being reflective we would be more aware of our strengths and development areas. Being aware of our development areas will allow us to plan how we can improve our practice and seek support to do better.I welcome your own views.Are there any theories that you have come across that you have found supportive in the reflection process?

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