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Theoreticle perspectives in reflection to professional development

Hiya everyone !

As part of my early years educator level 3 I have been asked to discuss in an online forum with others to share my research on theoretical perspectives in relation to professional development, My two theorist’s I have decided to research into further is Kolb’s learning cycle and Maria Montessori


KOLB’S Theory 1984 -

Kolb’s experimental learning theory presents a model of learning which consists of four different stages, This theory helps Practitioners to understand what is involved in the reflective process as well as setting out four clear stages to follow in the process.

The four stage of the learning cycles

Concrete Experience -

The concrete experience is one of the first stages of the learning process. This is where something has been done or an experience.

Reflective Observation -

During the reflective stage after the concrete experience has been observed then Practitioners now need to reflect on the experience.

This would involve thinking about things like how it went?
what went well?
what didn’t go well?

This stage also means practitioners to receive feedback from others. Within an Early Years setting this would include peer observation.

Abstract Conceptualisation

The Abstract Conceptualisation stage is where conclusions are made from the previous reflective process and practitioners reflect back on how improvements can be added in the future as well as what they have learnt from the experience.

Active experiment

During the Active Experiment changes and new ideas are put into practice that have been concluded from the Abstract Conceptualisation stage. All of this then relates back to the beginning of the “cycle”to continue learning, development and reflection.


Maria Montessori -


I have also chosen to write about Maria Montessori and her approach. The Montessori approach state that practitioners should provide an environment which is carefully prepared to meet children developmental needs. As a result children will be able to build on their own imagination through independent play.

Montessori settings offer a wide range of activities which are their to spark children’s interest in order for the children to learn from others around them. The resources that are provided allow child to identify their own errors and make mistakes which will then lead to them correcting themselves independently.
This type of learning is highly encouraged so that children learn to become responsible for their own learning and actions. Practitioners should also provide an environment in which children have the choice of resources in order to explore the world around them and develop basic cognitive abilities through their natural curiosity.

In the Montessori approach it states that environment which supports the children’s self construction should be prepared to make sure children’s developmental needs are met at all times. It also recognise children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Montessori environment always provide children with the experience to become active and dynamic with the world around them during all activities and throughout there daily routine. Practitioner are there to observe children to understand their development and needs and make further planning.

According to Montessori perspective each child has potential, in order to see the child’s potential as practitioners we would need to give children the opportunities to develop trust and independent which overall will help to improve the children’s confidence, self-esteem and courage.

Montessori is also a strong believer that freedom is the most important part of children’s learning, she states that by allowing children to develop their freedom will also help them to make decision which will build confidence, self-esteem and courage.
Children should be free to choose what to do and what toys / resources they would like to put away. Whilst children are playing independently practitioners should take detailed observations of children choices which they can later use to identify children needs and interests which will help us to plan for next steps.
Original post by Tilly osullivan
Hiya everyone !
As part of my early years educator level 3 I have been asked to discuss in an online forum with others to share my research on theoretical perspectives in relation to professional development, My two theorist’s I have decided to research into further is Kolb’s learning cycle and Maria Montessori
KOLB’S Theory 1984 -
Kolb’s experimental learning theory presents a model of learning which consists of four different stages, This theory helps Practitioners to understand what is involved in the reflective process as well as setting out four clear stages to follow in the process.
The four stage of the learning cycles
Concrete Experience -
The concrete experience is one of the first stages of the learning process. This is where something has been done or an experience.
Reflective Observation -
During the reflective stage after the concrete experience has been observed then Practitioners now need to reflect on the experience.
This would involve thinking about things like how it went?
what went well?
what didn’t go well?
This stage also means practitioners to receive feedback from others. Within an Early Years setting this would include peer observation.
Abstract Conceptualisation
The Abstract Conceptualisation stage is where conclusions are made from the previous reflective process and practitioners reflect back on how improvements can be added in the future as well as what they have learnt from the experience.
Active experiment
During the Active Experiment changes and new ideas are put into practice that have been concluded from the Abstract Conceptualisation stage. All of this then relates back to the beginning of the “cycle”to continue learning, development and reflection.
Maria Montessori -
I have also chosen to write about Maria Montessori and her approach. The Montessori approach state that practitioners should provide an environment which is carefully prepared to meet children developmental needs. As a result children will be able to build on their own imagination through independent play.
Montessori settings offer a wide range of activities which are their to spark children’s interest in order for the children to learn from others around them. The resources that are provided allow child to identify their own errors and make mistakes which will then lead to them correcting themselves independently.
This type of learning is highly encouraged so that children learn to become responsible for their own learning and actions. Practitioners should also provide an environment in which children have the choice of resources in order to explore the world around them and develop basic cognitive abilities through their natural curiosity.
In the Montessori approach it states that environment which supports the children’s self construction should be prepared to make sure children’s developmental needs are met at all times. It also recognise children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
Montessori environment always provide children with the experience to become active and dynamic with the world around them during all activities and throughout there daily routine. Practitioner are there to observe children to understand their development and needs and make further planning.
According to Montessori perspective each child has potential, in order to see the child’s potential as practitioners we would need to give children the opportunities to develop trust and independent which overall will help to improve the children’s confidence, self-esteem and courage.
Montessori is also a strong believer that freedom is the most important part of children’s learning, she states that by allowing children to develop their freedom will also help them to make decision which will build confidence, self-esteem and courage.
Children should be free to choose what to do and what toys / resources they would like to put away. Whilst children are playing independently practitioners should take detailed observations of children choices which they can later use to identify children needs and interests which will help us to plan for next steps.

During my research i looked at Graham Gibbs. He proposes a structured cycle for reflection, involving stages such as description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan. This structured approach helps professionals systematically reflect on their experiences to derive actionable insights.
It was developed in 1988 and is designed to help individuals think systematically about the phases of an experience or activity. The cycle consists of six stages:
Description: This stage involves describing the experience without drawing conclusions or making judgments.
Feelings: This stage focuses on the emotions and thoughts experienced during the event.
Evaluation: This stage involves assessing the experience, considering both the positive and negative aspects.
Analysis: This stage requires a deeper examination of why things happened the way they did.
Conclusion: This stage is about drawing conclusions from the experience.
Action Plan: This stage involves planning how to handle similar situations in the future.

Also John Dewey posits that reflection is an active, persistent, and careful consideration of beliefs or practices in light of supporting evidence and future consequences. In professional development, this means practitioners must engage in ongoing evaluation of their experiences to improve their practice.

Your insight is great 👍

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