There are various models in which reflective practice can be developed from. These include
- Gibbs reflective cycle – Description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan. This model helps the learner make sense of their experiences and enables them to evaluate those experiences and adapt behaviours as required. This is a simple systematic process model that encourages clear description and evaluation of experiences or situations (Barnett 2013). However, sometimes this approach is not appropriate and a more critical approach is required that asks more specific questions about the given context. This model also does not account for the differences between tutors and learner’s expectations and learners may be resistant to this model if they do not see it as meeting their needs of the course (Barnett 2013).
- Atkins and Murphy – awareness., description of situation, analysis of feelings and knowledge, evaluate relevance, identify learning cycle (open Learn 2017) this model enables deeper level self-analysis as it looks for explanations of issues that have occurred including our assumptions. If this is produced in written format this framework can assist learners to remember past events that can be reflected on at a more appropriate time. But this is not appropriate if evaluation needs to be rapid or for those starting to learn how to self-reflect as it is more complex than other models (MSC Student 2016). So this would not be an appropriate model for our context as many of our learners have not developed the skills to do more in-depth reflection.
- Rolfe – what, so what and now what model that has 3 levels where these questions are applied (descriptive, theoretical and action orientated) (MSC student 2016) this model would be appropriate for learners who are developing their skills in reflection as each level requires a deeper level of reflection than the previous level. However, evaluation only occurs in relation to the situation. For our learners we aim to develop them as people which this model does not allow.
- Johns – created as structured reflection model that asks specific prompt questions to reflect on the environmental context of situations (MSC student 2016). The questions make it easier for beginners to complete this process and the stages can be completed in any order so allocation of time can be adapted on each section appropriate to the given situation requiring evaluation and can be used on either individuals or groups. However, the prompt questions dictate a very ridged structure and some of the questions may not be relevant to the situation, they can also create confusion if people are not experienced in this process. Therefore, for our students this may not be an appropriate model.
There are various opportunities for learners to self-reflect these include
- Reflexive journal – this can be in the form of words or pictures, and encourages active learning through free expression, critical and creative thinking, which has been shown to be more effective than passive learning (adopted by the more traditional models of education). It allows learners to take ownership of their own learning. It enables analysis to draw on various perspectives before conclusions are made and produce independent thinkers. It also enables tutors to gain a greater understanding of learners, meaning that more effective and individually tailored support can be given. It also assists to improve literacy and writing skills (Assessment Resource Centre 2014). Reflexive journal assessments have its disadvantages.it takes a long time to produce and mark journals due to the complexity required to complete, and very clear guidelines are required if the learner is not practiced in this process. It is difficult to eliminate subjectivity when reflecting either by the learner or the tutor, and grading may vary dependent on the tutor who is assessing the work. Learners may also withhold information so may not be a true accurate reflection of the self-reflection process (Assessment Resource Centre 2014).
- Seeking feedback from various sourcesg. 360 degree– the aim is to provide constructive yet supportive feedback. By using a variety of sources this will enable a broader range of perspectives to be considered and reduce the likelihood of subjectivity influencing conclusions drawn. However, some people especially peers may not give honest feedback in fear of the consequences of doing so or find the process too stressful especially giving negative feedback (this is a skill that needs to be developed on its own). If feedback in not followed up with an action plan the process will lose its effectiveness (M and E studies 2016). For our learners they lack the self-confidence to provide peer feedback and by asking them to do this it may result in them no longer engaging in the course or any other future learning opportunities.
- Schons reflection in action/reflection on action – accounts for both reflection during and after the event, this enables more in-depth reflection and teaches learners to take control of situations as they are occurring and develop the skills to be able to think on one’s feet (Finlay 2008). However, reflection in action is seen as a process for professional’s self-evaluation as it requires greater skill to achieve, for our learners they are just starting on this process so it is unlikely that they will be able to achieve the deeper levels of reflection. However, it is a model that can be used to help learners develop skills to begin the process of effective self-reflection. This model also ignores the reflective process that can occur before action (Finlay 2008).
The reflexive practice models are similar in content in relation to evaluation of past experiences. Personally after evaluating these theories I prefer John’s model. Especially the elements of emotion, as all behaviours are linked to an emotional response and as cognitive behaviour therapy advocates we have to challenge learnt behaviours, and emotional response is one of those learnt behaviours. I would also adopt the process of learning from others as people will see things differently, especially if you are too involved in the problem, viewing the problem from an objective outsider’s point of view, may assist in the development of strategies to deal with a problem.
From the reflective models I would advocate and incorporate the cyclic nature of learning for our specific cohort of learners. However, I do not feel the theories go far enough as each leaning situation will differ, so no 2 similar situations will be dealt with the same – especially as all learners have different wants and needs. so there needs to be a further element of adaptability in the immediate situation applied to the theories and models.