In a constantly changing profession, staying on top of developments in teaching practice is essential. Furthermore, the requirements of the role now demand that practitioners are endowed with more than accumulated skills and strategies, with effective teachers recognised for their ability to 'remain fluid and able to move in many directions' (Larrivee, 2000:294). The intention of this paper is to demonstrate a critical understanding of my views surrounding the reflective process. The foundation is based on a critical incident from an area of my own professional practice as a trainee teacher. The paper begins with theoretical discussion which considers the concepts associated with reflection. Subsequently, it will be followed by an analysis of the incident using the Diagnostic Teaching Cycle framework (Tripp, 2012), with justification being given for the selection of this incident and the chosen model as a framework. In conclusion it will show what has been learned from this reflective process, particularly focussing on the outcome for both current and future practice.
The reflective process holds a significant role in professional activities and contributes valuably to professional learning and development (Harrison, 2004); holding potential to create meaningful change in schools (Osterman and Kottkamp, 2004). Furthermore, advocates assert that it provides opportunity to question assumptions and see events from alternative viewpoints (Brookfield, 1995; Loughran, 2002) and allows for the fusion of personal beliefs and values into a professional identity (Freese, 2006). Reflective practice is not a new concept and is based on the notion that education is concerned with experience rather than abstract knowledge (Dewey, 1933). Over time this view has been strengthened through extensive research. Schon (1983) identified ways in which professionals could become aware of, and learn from, their tacit knowledge.