How to Get Better at Reflective Practice

With so many fantastic Prowibo summer schools happening this summer, and the new term around the corner, we would like to take some time to reflect on… our own reflective practice. Taking time to think about and record how you feel about your experiences will make you more conscious of your actions and will help you understand your strengths and development needs better.

Depending on how busy you are, you can either find five minutes each day to note down your thoughts or set time aside each week to reflect on what you have done. However you choose to structure your reflective practice, regularity is key, and using this tested Gibb’s reflective cycle model may be useful ( after Gibbs G (1988) Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford)

  1. Description: what happened? What did you do? Who else was there? What was the result?
  2. Feelings: what were you thinking and feeling? How did you feel before it happened? How about now? How might others feel about it?
  3. Evaluation: what went well? What didn’t go so well?
  4. Analysis: what sense can you make of the experience?
  5. Conclusion: what can you learn from this? What skills do you need to develop to handle this better next time?
  6. Action plan: what will I do next?

Tools for reflective practice

You can use a range of tools to support your reflective practice, as long as they are accessible and enjoyable. While some may enjoy using apps and videos, pen and paper are perfectly fine too.

  • Write in a journal
  • Draw
  • Have a regular conversation with others
  • Blog about experiences
  • Apps: here is a list to get you started

Throughout your studies and future careers, you will face unique and challenging situations, and by using your previous experiences and reflections you can understand better how and why things happen. Additionally, being able to demonstrate that you engage in reflective practice regularly will help you stand out in the graduate job market. Employers want to meet candidates who are conscious of their strengths and limitations, are keen to develop new perspectives on problems and can, as a result, improve their own practice, as well as have a positive impact on others. Happy reflecting!

How do you reflect? What works? What is not so helpful? Get in touch to share your ideas!

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Watch this:

Reflect: now that you have read this article, take a few minutes and jot down answers to the questions below. This will help you remember the most insightful points and put together an action plan that works for you:

  • What inspired you?
  • As a result, what do you want to do more of?
  • And what do you want to do less of?
  • What will you do next to achieve these goals?

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