Reflective Practice for Professional Development provides an accessible introduction to the theory and practice of reflection. In ten concise chapters it explores how reflecting on experiences can be used for professional development and help progress knowledge and skills.
Using scenarios, questions and stories, the reader is encouraged to apply the content to their own context, demonstrating the importance of reflection in helping us to make sense as well as make the most of our professional experience. Exploring key themes such as the importance of criticality, models of reflection and connections between thought, language and actions, it considers the ways in which reflection can widen perspectives, generate deeper understanding of professional challenges and enhance creativity.
Full of practical tools and approaches for enriching and recording reflections, this insightful book aims to simplify reflective practice for teachers. It is an ideal guide for anyone who needs to build reflection into their practice or their studies.
Table of Contents
Reflective Practice for Professional Development: Introduction 1. Why should we reflect? 2. Learning through practice 3. Models of reflection 4. The importance of critical thinking 5. Diffusing the dynamite 6. Tools for reflection 7. Reflection for creativity 8. Joining up the dots 9. Reflecting with others 10. Turning reflection into action Final thoughts Appendix
Carol Thompson is Senior Lecturer and Advanced Researcher in the School of Teacher Education at the University of Bedfordshire. She has over 20 years’ experience of working with Trainee Teachers and Mentors and is author of several books in this field, including The Magic of Mentoring and the Trainee Teacher’s Handbook.
"A hugely enjoyable book that combines practical support for anyone who wishes to reflect, or indeed encourage reflection, with fascinating vignettes that illustrate the points being made. The writing has a lightness of touch that draws the attention of the reader in and makes this a book that will devoured in a short space of time.
Whilst all the major models are covered, the strength of this book lies in its ability to explore the transformative power of reflection and to show how reflection is a state of mind, rather than a series of practical tasks. The harder edge that reflection can create is explored in chapter 4 where the author skilfully steers the reader away from treating reflection as a mere ‘comfort blanket’ towards using it to imbue thinking with a degree of criticality that will allow current practice to be challenged and improved.
One of the most enjoyable sections refers to what happens when the process of reflection becomes a negative pattern. The reframing of expectations and perceptions can create a cycle of destructive and negative behaviour and the author offers practical solutions and theoretical exposition behind this behaviour.
Much of the later part of the book draws on work from people such as Robinson and Bateson and links reflection to creativity. Railing against the perils of groupthink, the author champions the benefits of reflecting when challenging much of the orthodoxy and presents an alternative approach to the prevailing situation in education.
The book ends with a quote for the ages ‘I wish I was your age and knew what I know now’, the strength of this book is that the author provides a way for us all to benefit from the wisdom of others, and also the wisdom that is inside us all."
Dr Peter Wolstencroft, Deputy Director Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
"Carol Thompson has managed to marry two very different aspects of reflection into this excellent and highly-readable book: there is the rigorous attention to detail regarding the relevant theories in the field of professional reflection alongside pertinent activities and exercises to support practitioners within their own reflective practice. This is a book which is itself a model of reflection – the ability to think through what has been devised and stated in the search for creative experiment. I cannot recommend this work wholeheartedly enough to anyone who has an interest in reflection and its influence on professional practice."
Dr Neil Hopkins, Advanced Resarcher, Teacher Education, University of Bedfordshire, UK
"What I really like about this book and the way the author writes, is that she does not preach to the reader about the ‘correct’ way to reflect. Instead, she offers valuable insights into different aspects of reflection to help the reader work out for themselves what may work for them. The strategies scattered throughout the book, and summed up at the end, make this a really useful tool, not just for trainee teachers, but also for those who are more experienced in reflection, opening our eyes to trying something different. This will be added to the essential reading list for my trainee teachers, and I will certainly be using it to improve my own practice. I can see it quickly becoming one of my ‘go to’ texts which I will constantly be dipping in to." -
Elaine Battams, Teacher Educator and Advanced Practitioner at Barnfield College, UK