Methods Of Reflective Practice
Reflective practice can be formal, e.g. for a course an overall review could be carried out. A less formal approach could simply involve the trainer reflecting back on a session and considering the various activities carried out as part of their teaching. There are various techniques which can help in this reflective process:
- Keeping a journal, reflecting in writing, on the various training sessions delivered.
- Critical incident analysis, this approach is where key incidents during the training are analysed and evaluated. It is important to remember that this should involve positive events as well as those where the training did not achieve its objectives.
- Mind mapping, this involves the trainer in 'drawing' the ideas surrounding a particular concept or problem in the form of a 'mental map', this allows the trainer to reflect, clarify and reshape their ideas.
Reflective practice should not always be thought of as a solitary process to be carried out by an individual trainer. It can be useful to involve others in the process:
- Peer review involves other trainers observing the training and providing their feedback.
- Mentoring involves using another, usually more experienced trainer, to act as an advisor.
- Identifying a critical friend. This individual is enlisted as a listener and 'sounding board' by the trainer.
- Online training communities. Technology now allows trainers with common interests to share problem-solving techniques and examples of good practice.