The personal journey to the development of reflective is a process for learning that must be valued as a practitioner (Lindon, 2010). This personal journey for reflective practice provides educators with ideas, insight, and valuable information that guide the journey itself.
According to Lindon’s Reflective Practice (2010) purposeful learning can appear from an active method of critical analysis of personal experiences in order to examine the past experiences.
This procedure requires dedication of time and thoughtful inquiry by the practitioner to establish a curiosity regarding the aspects of practice. As an Early Childhood Educator I believe that I reflect critically upon my practices and learning with children by the questioning my current behaviour and practice with my co-workers (Lindon, 2010). I consistently on a day-to-day basis reflect my practice in dialogue with fellow practitioners to account my experiences and question the behaviour of my professional practice.
For instance, a few weeks ago a child registered into my program that is diagnosed autistic. This is the first time where I am actually interacting and participating in conversation with an autistic child. My previous knowledge through the few years of research in college has given me a fundamental perspective on how I should behave around this child, however daily I question if the actions I choose in my daily professional practice are appropriate or not (Lindon, 2010). Currently, on a day-to-day basis I communicate with my co-workers in narrative accounts and question my choices when working with specific children in my program. I reflect critically on the strategies that I chose to implement and the learning I am able to provide to that children when they are under my care. This reflective practice has brought me to the point that I have contacted my area manager of my difficulty in running a three person program of 26 kindergarten children where I have two children showing difficult behavior, also taking me away from the ratio when one-on-one is needed with specific children. Through the process of my critical reflection and communicating with several other practitioners in the field I have come to the conclusion that this program requires a qualified staff to work children with special needs since I am under-trained for that purpose (Lindon, 2010). My training does not qualify me to work with children with special needs and the focus of my research unfortunately is not based on strategies working children with special needs (Lindon, 2010).
During my reflective practice I have observed that the children show difficulty working with me because I do not understand the children. If I were able to understand the children better, then the children may be able to form a trusting relationship with me. Also, through this process I have taken steps in understanding and making sense of the behavior of other people. Through reviewing many research studies I have constructed a routine for children which is similar to the one being used during the day at school time.
As a reflective practitioner I know understand the concepts of observation are more critical and in depth, what I observed is what people do and say, but there is also an aspect of hidden observations which outline what they are thinking, feeling, their motives, attitude, cultural meaning of gestures, and body language (Lindon, 2010).
Through this scenario I have completed the cycle of learning through reflection in this specific scenario where:
1. Concrete experience was initial experience of working with a child with special needs
2. Reflective observation was when I reviewed and thought about the experiences
3. Abstract conceptualization was where I drew the conclusion that I need to get help and this difficulty is due to my lack of knowledge in working with children with special needs
4. Active experimentation where I am currently trying out new things each day such as routine cards as visual aid to guiding the child in daily activities (Lindon, 2010).
This cycle of learning through reflective practice allows me as a practitioner to competently make connections of the concepts and is a worthwhile practice for me to overcome the difficulties that arise when I am at work (Lindon, 2010). The next step for me in this scenario would be to communicate with my staff in getting feedback regarding the strategies that are being implemented and to review the experiences once again to revisit the conclusions and interpretations of the newer experiences (Lindon, 2010). Overall, my scenario was a process for active learning where I engaged in thinking about what I know and how I can extend my own understanding through reflective practice (Lindon, 2010).
According to Lindon’s Reflective practice my procedure for reflective practice and learning about young children was through inductive reasoning where a work experience and new informational knowledge supported me to reach my concluding ideas and principles.