All entries for Monday 13 January 2020

January 13, 2020

Using a reflective framework to reflect on and improve my practice – Nicoletta

Discuss how using a recognised reflective framework has helped you reflect on and improve your practice as a teacher or learner teacher

Reflection is the foundation of learning because, by informing future action, it provides a starting point for development (Raelin, 2001). Systematic analysis and critical evaluation provide a great opportunity to recollect our thoughts and create new ideas. For this reason, reflection is the backbone of the teaching profession.

Being a trainee teacher, I have immensely benefited from using recognised reflective frameworks. I have noticed that it has helped me with addressing misconceptions and with working on my targets in a systematic and pragmatic manner. The reflective framework I have found myself using the most regularly is Schön’s, as it is easily applicable both during teaching and after teaching. Schön identifies two kinds of reflection that he calls reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action (Schön, 1991).

With reflection-in-action, he means thinking about the teaching experience while it is happening to decide how to take immediate action. This can be applied to any aspect of teaching, from pastoral care to making the decision to modify the lesson plan. For example, while I was teaching partitioning to my Year 4 pupils, I realised that the example that I was modelling for them was too complicated; hence, I changed it moving down from using a 4-digit number to a 2-digit number so that all the pupils could assess the learning point. Using the reflection-in-action framework helped to take immediate action to address my mistake still making good use of class time.

With reflection-on-action, Schön means reflecting on actions that have already occurred, putting them in perspective in order to inform our practice. This applies when we rethink about a lesson and use its outcome to inform new planning, new teaching or the action that has to be taken to solve an issue. It is a systematic method to build on our practice experience so that we can improve our teaching strategies and our pupils’ learning. When it comes to Teacher’s Standard 7, I reflect on my practice systematically after class, taking notes of what needs improvement and I reflect on what I can do differently to be on the right path. For example, at the beginning of my placement, reflecting on my practice made me realise that I needed to liaise with the SEN teacher to ask for advice on how to deal with a child who had behavioural issues. The SEN teacher made a support plan. Thanks to that, the child’s behaviour improved. He could access learning and he moved from ESL to the mainstream classroom for all the subjects.

Moreover, I use Schön’s framework when I review my weekly targets in my mentor meeting reports; when I discuss with my mentor about the action I should take to solve a problem; when I reflect on my lesson immediately after an observation, while taking notes on my lesson plan.

As a trainee teacher, I also reflected on action when I wrote my PG1 assignment about talk for writing, and I am reflecting on my practice at this very moment answering this PDP question.


Raelin, J.A. (2001). Public Reflection as the Basis of Learning. Management Learning, 32(1), pp.11–30.

Schön, D. A. (1983) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. New York, NY: Routledge.

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