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Early Years Apprentership Level 3 - Theoretical Perspectives on Reflection in Personal Development

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by dougdella25, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. dougdella25

    dougdella25 New commenter

    Hi, I am currently studying an apprenticeship for early years and the last question is to discuss on an online forum, how to summarise theoretical perspectives on reflection in relation to professional development. My thoughts below:

    After researching the theoretical perspectives on professional development, there are two main theories that have influenced peoples understanding of the reflection process and the theorists are Kolb and Gibbs.

    Kolb produced a learning cycle which helps reflect our learning, which is useful in an early years setting as we need to reflect on the work which we do so that we can improve in our skills and our own development which in turn will help with the children’s development.

    Kolb created a four process cycle to help with our effective learning:

    Concrete Experience – this means doing something, having the experience e.g. this could be doing a focus activity with individual children, one at a time:

    Reflective observation – this is about thinking about the experience, which we have just done e.g. reviewing the focus activity and thinking of what went well and want didn’t go so well with the activity.

    Abstract Conceptualisation – this is about thinking of new ideas e.g. thinking of new strategies on how to extend the activity to achieve the best outcome.

    Active experimentation – this process is about putting into practice our new ideas e.g. with the focus activity give the child more time to process the activity, media provided and what they hope to achieve. Just focus on just a couple of children at a time during the session to get the best results.

    As we can see from above, Kolb’s theory talks about what can be changed and how to improve our continued development. I like Kolb’s theory as it allows us to think back about the points in our work and demonstrates ways in which we can improve, especially with a new activity or new structure that has been put in place, so when we come to the abstract conceptualisation we can reflect again, as this could now be the concrete experience and continuing to reflect on our work so we are always improving our development and learning. This is helpful in an early years setting as there are always changes in the ways of working with children’s development.

    Gibbs produced a 6 concept cycle reflecting on looking at us as an individual and how we respond to a situation, whether it positive or negative and to look at the areas where more training is needed or allow more opportunities to learn from others which would be useful. I often observe how other members of staff work with the children and always ask questions:

    Description – what happened?

    Feelings – what were you thinking and feeling at the time?

    Evaluation – What was good/bad about the experience?

    Analysis – what sense can you make of what happened?

    Conclusion – What can you conclude from this?

    Action Plan – Where are you going to do now to change the way you work?

    This cycle is a bit more detailed and allows us to reflect deeper about our work and situations to what can be improved. It can make you think of your own strengths and weakness and allow us to focus on ourselves as it encourages us to think about our own feelings and emotions that we felt at the given moment. This makes us more flexible in our work place and highlights what specific training we might need.

    I do prefer Kolb’s theory, it appears easier to follow, as situations sometimes cannot be changed and as people we are only human and do the very best we can at the time, and in an early years setting, sometimes the children can be tired, as they haven’t slept well or maybe they are at the start of an illness e.g. cold and do not feel 100 percent, so you may not always get the desired outcome anyway.
     
  2. Hi Della, I do feel that Kolb's theory does take into consideration individual circumstances. As you have stated you cannot forsee day to today events. Taking this into account Kolbs four process cycle of reflection is more likely to be accurate and would not put question marks in your head. Gibbs theory is somewhat similar but deeper and more time costly, which could be seen as a negative as spending too much time analyzing could mean less time correcting and approving.
     


  3. Hi Della, I do feel that Kolb's theory does take into consideration individual circumstances. As you have stated you cannot forsee day to today events. Taking this into account Kolbs four process cycle of reflection is more likely to be accurate and would not put question marks in your head. Gibbs theory is somewhat similar but deeper and more time costly, which could be seen as a negative as spending too much time analyzing could mean less time correcting and approving.
     

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