We all “reflect” in various ways such as in our children’s portfolios and documentation, daily curriculum reflections, staff meetings, daily practices, staff appraisals…
National Quality Standard, Quality Area 1.2.3 states critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, is regularly used to implement the program.
But do we often “critically reflect?”
Critical reflection may sound like a “negative” concept however it really is not! It is requires us to think about our practice and ideas and then it challenges us to step-back and examine our thinking by asking thought provoking questions. It asks us to not only delve into the past and look at the present but importantly it asks us to speculate about the future and act upon this.
It means that for us as educators to become critical reflectors we need too;
Understand critical thinking– conscious, rational and empathetic way of thinking which influences behaviour
Be aware of your self and self-reflect – think about how you influence others, your behaviours and communication.. do you step in too early? Do you direct children’s play / experience s too much? Are you rushed?
Ask ourselves “why”… Children are naturally curious.. we should be too!
Ask ourselves “what did I do well and why? / what do I need to do next time? Always acknowledge what you and your team have done well.. reward and acknowledge help to form and motivate new behaviours
Communicate and share with others – being aware and reflective means you need to talk, share and discuss what is occurring, wondering why it is occurring and wondering what you can do to further support and challenge
Develop deeper theoretical understanding of children’s development and learning
So as you move through your studies and career in children’s services try to think deeper, reflect on past, present and future, think about behaviour, attitude and action and this will lead you to become a more enriched and authentic educator, providing more meaningful learning outcomes for children.
If you would like to know more about critical reflections and analysis within your documentation then book into my online webinar on 26th June- “The Planning Cycle” http://earlyyearstraining.com.au/events/planning-cycle-lets-make-easy/