Kolb and Gibbs have both proposed models of reflective practice in order to get the best results from the learning of the teacher and students. Both models unpick learning and link ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’. David Kolb developed a four-stage reflective model which uses reflection to gain conclusions and ideas gained from experience. The cycle involves (1) concrete experience followed by (2) observation and experience followed by (3) forming abstract concepts followed by (4) testing in new situations. The cycle’s final step is putting into practice what has been learnt through reflection by making abstract concepts concrete and testing them in the classroom thus creating new and active experiences. Using both experiences and educational literature aids in reflection make a change in teaching practice. (See Appendix C)
Gibbs (1998) further developed on Kolb and devised a six-stage approach incorporating experience and conclusions and consideration of future teaching. Gibbs further broken down the model to include teacher reflection on own thoughts and feelings which reference teaching practice. By drawing all the ideas together, the next steps for new learning can be devised. I found both Kolb and Gibbs’ models helpful in breaking down the process of reflection into steps. (See Appendix D)
As Pollard (2014) contends, reflection comes from understanding that personal beliefs, values and practices are influenced by previous personal experience, circumstances and understanding. Reflecting on practice gives the opportunity to justify actions and provide an explanation for them. Furthermore, Moore (in Pollard 2014) suggests that reflective practice addresses social, organisational and pedagogical factors, reflexivity (the ability to question oneself) and the ability to self-reflect. Being reflexive is to think about one’s own concepts, values and what they bring to any situation (MacGregor and Cartwright 2011, p.240). MacGregor and Cartwright also argue that reflexivity is about self-awareness and how teachers impact on students and situations. This can then lead to experimentation and questions that can lead to deeper learning.