why is reflective practice important in childcare

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What is Reflective Practice In order to provide the best possible care for children you should be aware of the term вreflective practiceв. This enables you to analyse previous activities and improve and develop them, making them more challenging. To get the best results for children you need to focus on going that extra mile, rather than settling for doing just what you have been told to do. This will help increase your skills and understanding as a reflective practitioner. It also helps further your own personal goals. As a reflective practitioner, you will:
Acknowledge your strengths, but also recognise your weaknesses So, what you can do? One way to reflect on your thoughts and feelings is to keep a diary. This way you can jot down the activities for the week with your aims and conclusions etc. Gibbsв reflective cycle (1988) can be really useful in making you think through all the phases of an experience or activity: Description в what happened? Feelings в what were you thinking and feeling? Evaluation в what was good and bad about the experience? Analysis в what sense can you make of the situation? Conclusion в what else could you have done? Action plan в if the situation arose again, what would you do?

Reaping the benefits The process can be long winded however, it is in your best interest to do so. It will allow you to check whether your work practices are correct and whether you can change anything to improve the outcome for the children. Taking part in reflective practice has the added advantage of making you more efficient in your role and provides evidence to Ofsted that you are constantly trying to improve quality of care at your setting. Reflective practice is a dialogue of thinking and doing through which I become more skillful. Donald A. Schn, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action (New York: Basic Books Inc. , 1983) at 31. According to Aistear (2009) Reflective practice involves adults thinking about their work with children and planning and implementing the curriculum to best support the childrens interests and strengths. Observing, listening and discussing with colleagues are key components of reflective practice. PAistears principle on relevant and meaningful experiences, refers to the adults ability to reflect on practice. On-going assessment of what children do, say and make, and reflection on these experiences helps practitioners to plan more developmentally appropriate and meaningful learning experiences for children.

This also enables them to improve their practice (Aistear, 2009, p. 11). According to Solta (2006) P Reflective practice requires that the individual practitioner engages in thought processes that make her/him aware, in a critical way, of her/his everyday activities with a view to continuously improving and refining practice. P It is no coincidence that our two national frameworks place an emphasis on reflective practice. PA study of early childhood care and education across 20 countries found that improvements in childrens long-term outcomes are achievable for all children when early learning experiences are high quality (OECD, 2006). Reflective practice and critically reflective practice is a key feature of high quality early childhood education and care settings. Reflective practice allows early childhood professionals to develop a critical understanding of their own practice, and continually develop the necessary skills, knowledge and approaches to achieve the best outcomes for children. International research has found that the most effective early childhood professionals reflect on and adopt flexible images of children and childhood and reconsider the roles they play in childrens lives.

P PMoreover, when professionals critically reflect on their practice, they are able to create real opportunities for children to express their own thoughts and feelings and actively influence what happens in their lives. Children whose views are respected are more encouraged to take responsibility for their actions than those whose views are not. P Evidence shows that the degree to which a person feels in control of their life affects other measures of their well-being and self esteem, even among babies. Making space and time for professional development, reflection and dialogue enables practitioners to focus on curriculum development, on childrens learning and development and to bring about positive change in their setting. (Aistear Solta Practice Guide, 2017) The positive impact that reflective practice has on outcomes for children is clearly documented in the research literature. The implications for practice informed by the research evidence and detailed in this Paper are: To provide high quality, effective services for children and families, there must be a commitment to ongoing learning, professional development and reflective practice in environments that are respectful and responsive to children, families and professionals The purpose of the Practice Guide is to support practitioners in using Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (2009) and Solta, The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education (2006) together to develop the quality of their curriculum and in doing so, to better support childrens learning and development.

The Aistear Solta practice Guide encourages reflection across all seven pillars and reflection is mentioned no less than 80 times across the entire website. The guide provides many opportunities to reflect and has a plethora of resources to assist practitioners to do this on a daily basis. a sample of just one of these resources is available. Mentors can provide resources, skills and guidance to develop reflective practice. Mentoring forms a significant aspect of both the National Solta Aistear Initiative which Longford County Childcare Committee has recently piloted and the Solta QAP which we aim to offer in 2018. If any Longford based early years practitioners are interested in learning more about either of these initiatives, please contact us in the LCCC offices. This entry was posted in. Bookmark the.

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