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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by michelle_ovenden, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. michelle_ovenden

    michelle_ovenden New commenter

    I am just on the last module of my Childcare course (Cache level 3, Early Years Educator) and I'm planning to become a childminder, working from home. Does anyone have any tips on reflection in relation to practice. I do feel that I am already a really proficient reflector, having been in Learning and Development for a number of years (approaching 20), but my course requires me to talk about theoretical perspectives on reflection in relation to professional development - what have you guys been doing that's creative?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Sheeeesh! No idea at all what this might mean. Does someone planning to be a childminder really need to know this? Surely the practical perspectives are rather more useful.

    My reflections tend to be:
    Eeek this isn't going well. Let's stop right now and do something else.
    Ummm maybe that wasn't as good as I'd hoped. It was ok, but I'll not bother again.
    That was great. Must remember to do it again another time.
    This is going brilliantly. I can do that now to keep them engaged and move things on.

    That's as far as it goes to be honest.
    hawkeye100 likes this.
  3. michelle_ovenden

    michelle_ovenden New commenter

    Lol! I know what you mean and I've always naturally reflected on what I do in my work, but what you've said makes perfect sense. I think the objective of the exercise is to prove that I do think about what I do and the way I do it. I guess when you're busy, stopping to review what you've done and look at ways of improving your practices is not always top of the agenda, but it's a great practice and keeps us on our toes and is important for all of us. Some of the theoretical perspectives do outline the science behind how and why children behave the way they do and learn in the way they do - and keeping this in the forefront of our minds makes the difference between being a childcare professional and someone who just looks after kids. I'm really grateful for your reply - so thanks xx
  4. Sharonlove

    Sharonlove New commenter

    Hi Michelle,
    I'm on the same question and need someone to discuss this with! Have you finished this question now? Don't want to bother you if you have.
    Hayley x
  5. michelle_ovenden

    michelle_ovenden New commenter

    Hi Hayley

    Yes, I’ve finally submitted my last module. But I’m more than happy to discuss it with you to help you get to the end.

    Is reflection something you were familiar with before you started the course - or is it a new practice for you?

  6. Sharonlove

    Sharonlove New commenter

    Hi Michelle,
    That's really kind of you to offer to help, thank you. Apologies if this is all a bit long winded!
    I've only been working in childcare for the last 16 months so yes, reflection is fairly new to me, however we use reflective practice a lot at my setting which has helped me during the course.

    The question asks us to consider theoretical perspectives in relation to professional development, the theorists, Kolb and Gibbs both proposed 'cycles of reflection'. They differ slightly in that Kolb suggested that the practitioner would not learn from the experience unless they had done it themselves. However both cycles went on to review the experience and think about what worked and what didn't. The final 'stage' was to develop new ideas based on the game/activity, what worked, what didn't and put these new ideas into practice.

    At my setting we definitely use elements of these 'cycles', as individuals, and as a team we reflect and record outcomes of activities, topics and planning and review what went well during our day/week and how we can improve. In my experience on-going reflection helps us to improve our practice, to address any problems quickly, (from a positive standpoint), which will ultimately help us in our professional development.

    Having said that, it is a process that takes practice and honesty. A work in progress, that over time I am sure will come more naturally to me!
  7. musicteachertobe

    musicteachertobe New commenter

    Hi Hayley. I completely agree. Continual reflection is so important in our development as childcare practitioners and educators. Without it we become stagnant and lose sight of what it is to learn and make mistakes. Although it does take honesty and practice, it is something that is so useful in helping you grow throughout your career.
  8. michelle_ovenden

    michelle_ovenden New commenter

    I would say you are spot on and you clearly understand reflection sufficiently for your role - looks like you have enough to answer the question. Good luck x
  9. Sharonlove

    Sharonlove New commenter

    Hi Lauren,
    Thank you for your reply. You make an important point about making mistakes, I think children and adults alike are afraid to admit to their mistakes for fear or feeling like they have failed. Mistakes are how we learn, a point that I don't think is reiterated enough!
    Hayley x
  10. Sharonlove

    Sharonlove New commenter

    Hi Michelle,
    Thank you for your reply, it's definitely been helpful to hear other people's perspectives on the subject. Thanks again. X
  11. Hi all I too have this question so I would like to join the discussion, although I feel you are all a bit further ahead than me. My study also asks me to summarize theoretical perspectives in relation to professional development and discuss this in an online forum.
    I have considered theoretical perspectives in relation to professional development, reading about the theorists, Kolb and Gibbs they have both formulated a method/cycle for reflection. Kolb did use Gibbs' method and changed it slightly. Both have used cycles that involve doing an activity, then a review or reflection of the activity or learning experience, then they think about what works and what doesn't. Afterwards a new idea would be thought through based on the reflection of the game/activity. Although Gibbs expanded this further to include how you were feeling or what you were thinking? And a further analysis to include what sense can be made of what happened? Asking why something happened, and what conclusion can be reached. Noting what worked and what didn't work, from this any new ideas or improvements can then be put into practice. If something didn't work, why not?

    At my setting we do use elements of these 'cycles', both individually, and as a team we reflect weekly upon the daily activities and events as they occur and record any outcomes of activities, reflecting upon planning and reviewing what worked well during our day/week and also looking at what we need to improve. Although my experience is still limited I can see how regular reflection helps to improve our practice, by reviewing and changing activities in order to meet children's needs and abilities better, we can provide a more effective provision with professional development being very much a progressive element.

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