Definitions, models, theories 2

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Why Reflect? refpract.jpg

Reflection can help us to feel more aware of and confident in ourselves generally, and in our teaching role. It can help us to:
  • Make the best use of the knowledge available.
  • Be conscious of our potential for bias & discrimination.
  • Challenge & develop the existing professional knowledge base
  • Maximise our own opportunities for learning.
  • Recognise what we do well so that we can apply these skills in other situations
  • Improve professional judgment
  • Learn from successes and mistakes to enhance development
  • Plan for future situations and therefore respond more positively to change
  • Meet our legal requirement to undertake CPD

Learning Activities - available from links below

Why reflect activity - download
A simple activity to consider the possible reasons to reflect on your teaching and learning.

Learning to be Reflective from the revised Gold Dust resources at:

Feedback from practitioners

The Institutue for Learning (IfL) has a number of CPD case studies on their website, which include the views of practitioners.

The REfLECT (IfL's online tool to suport reflection for CPD) champion, from an FE college says:

“I’m not a natural reflector,” .... “but I feel that the way it is presented scaffolds thought, making it easy for all staff to record the impact of CPD on their practice.”

The Head of Innovations and Improvements at another college says:

“We have developed a community of reflective practitioners. Reflection is based on their day-to-day experiences both inside the college and out."

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

What is CPD?

The Institute for Learning (IfL) is the professional body for the sector. IfL has ‘long advocated the vision of high performing teaching and training professionals, self-regulating and self-improving through their commitment to continuing professional development (CPD)’

Our definition of CPD is broader than the conventional one that is often limited to attendance at courses, workshops or formal study. It is the critical reflection on learning experiences and activities that improve practice, and demonstrate continuous development as a teacher or trainer:

Continuing professional development means maintaining, improving and broadening relevant knowledge and skills in your subject specialism and your teaching and training, so that it has a positive impact on practice and the learner experience.

A growing body of research on CPD has shown that the kinds of professional development which make the most difference to practice are based on professional dialogue about teaching and learning, and the improvement of practice through a variety of activities, including coaching, mentoring, shadowing and peer support.
(IfL 2009: 3)

CPD Cycle (from IfL)

Many areas of teaching and learning can be represented using a cycle or spiral, and CPD is no exception!

IfL use a six stage cycle to illustrate what they believe to be the process of carrying out, reflecting on and getting the best from CPD, and it is shown below

Learning Activity - available to download from link below

Using the IfL six step cycle activity - download
Using the IfL six step cycle resource
- download
Try out reflecting on your teaching or CPD using the IfL six step cycle.

Further Resources / Activities on this topic

Examples of CPD in action from the IfL - downloadable case studies

Other resources relevant to CPD

- CPD builder from the Excellence Gateway is described as 'an innovative tool' that offers you:
  • imaginative ways to explore, interact with and use the teaching and learning and CPD resources
  • opportunities to build a CPD programme to meet your personal needs and that contributes to your professional development plan
  • the flexibility to work individually, with peers or in teams to suit your particular circumstances.
CPD builders are part of a toolkit that can support you through each stage of your CPD journey. Use Small steps - big difference to review your current practice and identify your priority areas for development. Putting CPD into action provides a framework to help you create and implement your professional development plan, guiding you through the reflective cycle. You will be prompted to use this as you work through a CPD builder.
CPD builders can contribute to your 30 hours' CPD (or pro rata equivalent) required by the Institute for Learning or provide evidence to support your professional formation.
Starts at:
- Supporting your CPD 'how to guide' go to the start page and click on 'case studies for short videos of CPD in action

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