Reflective Practice: a non-negotiable requirement for an effective educator

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BPP colleague John Irving has taught me a great deal about reflection, self-coaching and self-observation since I joined BPP University College in the summer 2010. John has a way of looking at educational context which is still alien to me at times but hugely challenging.  I think we all want to work with people who stretch us and challenge us and I’m often frustrated at the lack of thought leadership around me. So it’s been a delight in recent months, as John and I embarked on a third module in our pilot PGCert programme, to write an overview of reflective practice together and explore the implications of reflection for educators, particularly in the context of professional education.   Very much a case of standing on the shoulders of giants this paper, part our own reflection, part literature review, identifies the very personal characteristics of reflective practice and the importance of emotion in that process.  It explores the nature of reflection served by solitary deliberation and engagement in communities of practice and identifies the individual attributes of reflection as defined by Schön and Brookfield. Finally, this paper provides a review of several reflective models and suggests that personal transformation and reflective practice must form the basis for effective teaching. We’ve found Brookfield’s four critical lenses a very effective way to contextualise and plan our academic development support and this paper fits nicely for us into a growing body of resource to encourage faculty to embrace the change! The paper is available for download on my pages on Academia.edu and from BPP’s Publication pages.

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