Getting started with Reflective Practice

Reflecting and composing a piece of self reflective writing is becoming an increasingly important element to any form of study or learning. This is where you make sure students play an active part in their learning. You will ask them to carry out a short reflection on how well they felt the lesson went and to assess the lesson’s strengths and possible ideas for development. Once you have taught your lesson, record your reflections on the lesson as soon as possible. This will help you keep track of your progress as a developing reflective practitioner and also help you track your students’ progress.

Kolb’s model consists of four stages which emphasise the importance of reflection in the learning process and, furthermore, demonstrates how learning can occur from experience. This experience is then reviewed and reflected on in order to form conclusions and new hypotheses which can then be tested in future experiences. Combining free writing with a reflective writing model can be useful for making changes and planning future actions. You may need to do some reflective writing as part of an assignment for your course. This could be as a reading log, journal, blog, e-portfolio, work placement diary or reflective essay. Here we’ll cover some key elements for you to consider when writing reflectively. Generally, all good academic practice for assignments applies when posing reflective essays.

Expressing what you have gained from the experience:

However, in the Reflective Report you should be sure to state clearly and concisely how your own actions contributed to a successful outcome. The key is to make sure all of the above ‘steps’ are included somewhere in your reflective essay. When you are writing a reflective assessment, it is important you keep your description to a minimum. This is because the description is not actually reflection and it often counts for only a small number of marks.

The suggestion that the writer be ignored as the creative provenance behind the text is intriguing. Yet it has a tendency to sound idealistic and theoretical, and has since sometimes been disclaimed as metaphor – as seen in Cowan’s essay.

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This section encourages the practitioner to explore any thoughts or feelings they had at the time of the event. Here the practitioner should explain feelings and give examples which directly reference the teaching experience. It is important the practitioner is honest with how they feel, even if these feelings might be negative. Only once the feelings have been identified can the practitioner implement strategies to overcome these barriers.

  1. As a large proportion of your reflective account is based on your own experience, it is normally appropriate to use the first person (‘I’).
  2. While traditional academic writing discourages first-person accounts, Reflective Reports rely on them.
  3. The aim is to analyse why it was challenging for you, evaluate your decisions and actions at the time and identify ways to change your practice or learning which could be implemented in similar circumstances.
  4. This means using descriptions that everyone would understand in the same way.
  5. Blogger often take a view on something and use their site as a way to share it with the world.
  6. Reflection-on-action should encourage ideas on what you need to change for the future.
  7. The ideas from the observations and conceptualisations are made into active experimentation as they are implemented into future teaching.

You should draw on support from colleagues to help develop practice and share ideas. Kolb’s model aims to draw on the importance of using both our own everyday experiences and educational research to how can i be a good american essay examples help us improve. This reflection must drive a change which is rooted in educational research. By varying learning and experimenting with new approaches, students have a richer learning experience.

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definition of reflective essay

Once the student starts to play an active part in the learning cycle, they become more aware of different learning styles and tasks. They become more aware of how they learn and they develop key skills and strategies to become lifelong learners. We would suggest that it is also worth considering musical maturation in a broader context. As the Head of Performance explains, ‘…students arrive inhibited by their prior musical experiences. They see themselves as poppers or classical musicians, and are determined to stay in that preferred genre,’ . Unlike traditional essays and presentations, the Reflective Report gives students a chance to highlight their own experiences and opinions in an academic setting.

Gibbs Reflection Cycle

In order to do this, you need to consider what you have been taught. Reflective Observation is thinking about how you did it, how you felt and how you might have done it differently. Abstract Conceptualisation is thinking about what you were taught in class, what you have read about how to do this stage and why.

The most common mistake in Reflective Writing is to be either too objective and scholarly, or too emotional and non-critical. Students should aim for a middle ground in their writing, in which they highlight their own personal feelings and reflections but analyse these with reference to theoretical course material. You need to ensure you discuss your feelings, reflections, responses, reactions, conclusions, and future learning. You should also look at positives and negatives across each aspect of your reflection and ensure you summarise any learning points for the future. In this case, the student has little chance to apply any insights going forward. However, reflective writing at this level more often forms part of formative assessment, e.g. the student reflects on a draft before final submission, enabling them to build on reflective insights.

Reflective writing style

Therefore, by reflecting upon your experience, and analysing it, you might begin to view the event through a different lens, and this might shape your future experience and thinking. As such, depending upon your field of study, such shifts in your thinking could be extremely important. Reflective writing encourages ‘metacognition’ to help you engage bridge statement examples more deeply with your learning and development. It helps you to review your progress as a learner and/or practitioner and consider how you might apply, or already have applied, what you have learned to aid your future development. Reflective writing may be set as an assignment, or you might be asked to keep a reflective log for your own purposes.

definition of reflective essay

They would then use this to highlight what happened and what they learned from the experience. At the end of the first piece of essay writing I would expect to learn something about cats, by the end of the second reflective piece I would expect to learn more about the writer and why they did what they did. One approach that is being used more and more is reflective writing and to be honest students often find it confusing to start with. Even though you are drawing on your experiences , you are trying to communicate these to your reader in an academic style.

Reflective writing structure

In conclusion, we would suggest that there is much to be gained from adopting a wider definition for musical learning, supported by practice diaries, reflective writing to kill a mockingbird theme essay and performance. Preliminary findings for both classical and popular musicians point to a deeper understanding of how to practise, as a result of assessed reflection.

definition of reflective essay

Create an online blog that can be shared with other students or your tutor. Let us assume that you are reflecting on something bridge statement examples that you have done in class. If you have made a purchase recently you are likely to have received a request for feedback.


These are just a few of the techniques you could discuss – there may be others that are more relevant to your particular piece of creative work. You can’t cover everything, so choose those that are particularly pertinent. Privacy is important because the thought of anyone reading your writing may inhibit you. Notebooks can be paper or electronic , or a combination of both – it’s totally up to you.

In the end though, the overall purpose of a reflective essay is for the writer of it to reflect upon their experience, and to ultimately learn something from it. What writing a reflective essay does then, is to help the writer to make sense of their experience, through some in-depth analysis of it, so that some valuable lessons can be learned, moving forwards. In order to achieve this, a number of frameworks have been created over the years, to help guide the writing process of a reflective essay, and so some of these should be considered before you start.

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