Reflective Practice as Early Childhood Practitioner

The term reflective practice has become familiar in the field of early childhood education and educators are now expected to reflect on their practice professionally (Lindon, 2010).

According to Lindon’s Reflective Practice (2010) genuine reflective practice is supported by the viewpoint of constant learning throughout the lifetime.

This belief and value for learning is critical for reflective practice where there is no room for the attitude that we are already trained. This concept also relates to the viewpoint by Lindon (2010) that early childhood practitioners are require to be committed towards developing their practice through the process of continuing professional development (CPD). The term CDP is referred to an ongoing process of learning even for professionals who have great experiences. The value of CDP as a professional strategy allows me to recognize my existing strengths, identify areas for improvement, and update my knowledge with research (Lindon, 2010).

Based on Lindon (2010) reflective practice for me as practitioners is the progression of serious thought and constructive critical investigation of present practice.

The process of reflective practice allows me to be a reflective practitioner towards an informed finding about my strengths and carefully measured plans for changes that will bring improvements. The procedure for reflective practice also encourages me to engage in an intellectual process which informs the choices for many of my action strategies (Lindon, 2010).

During reflective practice when I consider why I make one choice rather than another, I become more aware of my core personal and professional values as a practitioner.  Reflecting on my action strategy allows to me to understand my beliefs and values and practice what I believe in real life. This process allows me to increase self-awareness about my feelings and values as I implement my practice according to my beliefs. My value is what I believe to be worthy, of greater importance if I ever to make a choice this value will reflect my actions (Lindon, 2010). My principles of committed beliefs are also explaining the pattern of my actions, for example my belief that listening to children is highly important especially reflects my practice when I discuss with the children their input and ideas which they would like to contribute for daily activities. This scenario is an example of my theoretical perspective of listening to young children, supported with my personal belief and finally my choice of action strategy. My behaviour of reflecting on my beliefs is a reflection of the term ‘theory in-use’ by Lindon (2012) which states that my values are powerfully disguised by the way I behave in practice. Additionally, espoused theory represents the value in which people believe they base their behaviour, for example when I play with children I support that with my value of play being an important aspect to children’s development.

According to Lindon (2010) my values, beliefs, principles, and assumptions are the governing variables in the process of the theory-in-use strategy.

My action strategy is what I choose to do on the basis of my values, beliefs, etc. (Lindon, 2010). The final reflective procedure of the process of theory-in-use observes the consequences of what happens when I follow these strategies (Lindon, 2010). Through the process of this implementation the consequences may be unexpected and may not correlate with the initial intention for the theory, thus the loop for reflective practice allows me as a practitioner to review my initial beliefs, values, and adjust the action strategy (Lindon, 2010). For example, I believe and value the importance of physical activity for young children, my action strategy at work is a goal that I will plan daily outdoor physical play. The consequences of my actions show that I do take the children for outdoor play. However as a reflection for consequences I acknowledge that I limit the children’s play with only a few materials and limited time such as 10-15 minutes due to the cold weather. This example shows a conflict in what I believe in and what I implement during my practice at work. In order to achieve a critical view and go through a thoughtful process of continuing professional development as a practitioner I must revisit my values and question my assumptions which will eventually change the action strategy (Lindon, 2010).

Overall, this scenario based on Lindon’s Reflective Practice (2010) identifies the double-loop learning in the action strategy which confronts the assumptions, going back to my key values and questioning the core beliefs which is an approach identified as an element of reflective practice.

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