Reflecting on ...

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refpract.jpgThis part of the site starts by using exercises, particular incidents, narratives and models designed to help you apply reflection and reflective practice. It then continues to ideas and activities about how you can ‘reflect on’ key aspects of teaching, including teaching sessions; teaching observations and tutorials. There is also a collection of useful videos, websites and online tools which can be used to develop and support reflective practice, and some simple generic activities which can be used across the range of materials.

Starting Points

You may not necessarily naturally be the type of person who naturally reflects in any depth on what you do. There are ways you can get started with simple reflective activity, and then build up to reflecting and using it to improve your practice. Try out some of the activities below and you should both have fun and get started with reflective practice.

Learning Activities - available to download from links below

'I am like' activity - download
A simple exercise where you think about one item which you feel represents what you are like as a teacher (for example an animal - are you like an owl, a tiger, a mouse, an aardvark?) and discuss the results with other teachers. A variation on the same theme uses an object as the idea (are you like a Rolls Royce, a palace, a market, a diamond?)

Picturing your reflections activity - download
Think of something to do with you teaching which really sticks in your mind. Try to represent it as a picture (draw it, find an image on the internet, photograph or video it) and discuss the results with other teachers.

Critical incident analysis activity - download
Reflecting on one or more incidents from your teaching which particularly stand out in your mind and asking a series of questions to learn from them.

Generic 'Reflecting On' activity - download
A simple generic activity intended to be useable in any situation where reflecting on teaching and learning is the topic.

national star college

Videos from National Star College

These videos are a specially commissioned part of this project, and have been produced by National Star College. They can be used as a freestanding resource, or in conjunction with other resources and activities on this website.

Learning from a teaching observation
A teacher in a residential specialist college who is teaching students with disabilities reflects on her
teaching. A tutor who has been observing her
supports her reflection.

Reflecting on a tutorial
Police trainees are shown in a training session
which includes an assessed practical activity.
One trainee discusses the nature of a tutorial,
and how it supports reflective practice.

Reflective Practice - keeping a reflective journal
A teacher working in a a specilist college for
learners with learning and behavioural difficulties
reflects on her practice. The tutor discusses self
reflection and a reflective journal with the teacher.

Reflective Practice - feedback from peers and learners
Teachers from a community learning context reflect on their teaching practice using peer and learner feedback. Peer to peer discussions illustrate the benefits of reflecting on your teaching with another teacher.

If you cannot view the videos on You Tube, you may be able to view the videos on Vimeo

Generic Reflective Practice questions

The questions below are split into sections which are based on the different models and stages of reflection to help you with reflective practice.

They can be asked in conjunction with many of the items on this site
Tailor them to suit your situation.


What happened?

What took place?
What do your peers / colleagues think took place?
What do your learners think took place?
What worked really well?
What needed improvement or change?

Why did it happen?

What were the factors contributing to the success / problem?
What assumptions, beliefs, motives and emotions were involved from you, your learners and your peers / colleagues?
What theory can you recognise in what took place?
What external factors had any effect?

What can be done?

What are the possible ways to improve?
How could you use some of the success factors in your teaching?
How do your peers / colleagues think you could use some of the success factors in your teaching?
How do your learners think you could use some of the success factors in your teaching?
What ways forward are there?
Which parts of the changes are the most straigtforward / least straightforward?
How will this affect your professional situation?

What will be done?

What action will you take?
When will you take action?
What impact do you believe it will have on you, your learners and your colleagues?

What were the results?

What impact did the action/s have?
How do you know?
How can you evidence the impact?

What will you do next?

What may you do differently next time and why?
What will you do next?

Learning Activities - available to download from links below

Specific Models of structured reflection

Try out and critique different models of reflection

Using D.A.T.A. activity - download
Using D.A.T.A. resource - download

Using Brookfield's Critical Lenses activity - download
Using Brookfield's Critical Lenses resource - download

Using the IfL six step cycle activity - download
Using the IfL six step cycle resource - download

Reflective writing - more activities in 'tools'

Reflective writing activity - download - (with thanks to Linda Smith)
A simple range of activities to get going with reflective writing
Reflective writing resource - download

Reflective writing guide - download
A document for use with an undergraduate course in engineering. Does contain a good range of more advanced / development activities around reflection and reflective writing.

Reflective speaking - more activities in 'tools'

Telling a story activity - download
'My commentary' activity - download
Two fun activities intended to encourage reflectuve speaking and provide practice in how to do it.

Visualising - more activities in 'tools'

Generic visualisation activity - download
You can use:
Flip charts and pens
Old fashioned Over Head Transaparancies (OHTs) - use up the ones you still have laying around!
Magazine pictures, glue and scissors
Microsoft moviemaker
Microsoft photostory

Picturing your reflections activity - download
Think of something to do with you teaching which really sticks in your mind. Try to represent it as a picture (draw it, find an image on the internet, photograph or video it) and discuss the results with other teachers

Recording reflection - more activities in 'tools'

Reflective diary / journal activity - download
Reflective diary / journal resource - download
Very simple activity to help people get started on using a reflective diary

Further Resources / Activities on these topics

- A Reflective diary - helpsheet / activity with thanks to Linds Smith download
- Jennifer Moon Resources for Reflective Learning - download
This is a section of 50 pages from Moon, J (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning , Routledge Falmer, London. You are welcome to use this material freely, but it would be good if you referenced it.…. There is more detail on the exercises in the book, but some are self evident.
- 'Grow' model of coaching activity - download
- Questioning for learning pack - download
Training materials which intends:
  • To introduce the concepts of surface and deep learning.
  • To relate these concepts to Bloom’s taxonomy of task difficulty.
  • To explore the use of questioning techniques to encourage deep learning.
- Commenting on reflective journals and reflective process analyses: Resources for Tutors and Staff Developers Not the most pithy title in the world, but a set of resources from Escalate to 'provide those involved with staff development with a set of resources and suggested activities that can be used with colleagues who wish to include reflective tasks such as reflective journal writing, process analysis or critical incident analysis within their practice'.
Avaiable at:
- The reflective diary from 'Go Wales'. This website is designed for you to write about situations you wish to think about and reflect on. You will be able to save this information and return to it later. Only YOU have access to your entries because access is limited to your username and password. No other user can view your entries available at:
- Visible Reflection Techniques
Good item from the Active Reviewing Guide which argues for a more active style of reflection and reviewing as follows: 'All-talk reviews can work well, but often they don't. There are many alternative and complementary methods that are more engaging, more lively, more versatile and that produce better results'. The afrticle goes on to sugest some at:

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