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Reflective Practice in Teaching Essay

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Reflective Practice in the context of teaching ESOL

Reflective practice engages practitioners in a continuous cycle of self-observation and self-evaluation in order to understand their own actions and the reactions they prompt in themselves and in learners (Brookfield, 1995; Thiel, 1999). Reflective practice is considered as an evolving concept which views learning as “an active process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice.” (Reid, B 1993 cited in Garfat, T. 2005).

In my opinion, implementing reflective practice approach to professional development in order to expand our knowledge is a challenge. This challenge involves teacher’s ability to “reflect on
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By talking to colleagues about what happened in the classroom, not only may we find solutions to problems but also share and broaden our teaching experience. (Brookfield, 1995; p.31-36). 2. The Reflective Cycle by Gibbs (1988) Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988) encourages a clear description of the situation, analysis of feelings, evaluation of the experience, and analysis to make sense of the experience to examine what you would do if the situation arose again.

This straightforward and therefore useful cycle appeals to me in several aspects. An incident is identified and thought about to provide a description of what happened. The abstract aspects of the situation - the emotional dimension - are taken into account and reflected upon. This has to be done because if I can stand back from what happened and identify how I felt then those feelings can be evaluated. In the light of reflection I could see how perhaps extremes of emotion affected my outlook and thus actions. Was there anything positive that could be carried forward into the future or negative that needs to be addressed? Is it possible to find the cause of these positive and negative aspects that I might examine later? This analysis allows me to break down the incident into smaller parts that made up the situation. The question I ask myself is: What were the issues, key factors and influences and how did they combine to bring about the incident? Once I have this deeper understanding drawn
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