A Reflection on the Process of Reflection and the Double Loop Compared to Intuitive Practice.
This image shows the way that the reflective cycle operates.
(Gibbs 1998 from Ghayle and Lillyman 1998)
Audited my use of technology for a week. Chose one incident from that to reflect on.
Chose a learning based incident from the same week that came to light via a conversation with my L. F. in Firstclass.
Followed Gibbs model of reflection in order to reflect on the technology incident
Used a less structured reflective writing approach to look at the learning based incident.
Use Argyris' 'double loop' to examine the underlying assumptions and governing variables. Then examine the gaps between espoused theory and theory in action that the reflections revealed.
What was i thinking and feeling?
I felt unsure how to approach the critical incidents but then decided I would be most comfortable using these models of reflection.
I felt relaxed and happy about the incidents and my analysis of them
As I completed the double loop I felt uneasy as I realised in particular the difference between my espoused theory of inclusion and my theory in practice of differentiation to the point of separation.
What was good?
It made me question my assumptions and challenge my own attitudes.
Made me feel slightly uncomfortable
Analysis of results
What sense can I make of it?
The process of reflection took me from the point of choosing the incidents through to the double loop. In both cases prior to that I was relying on my intuitive practice. I was trying to rely on 'pathic tact' in particular in the learning incident part of me analysing how best to teach the concept whilst part of me was involved with supporting the child. This alone was, I think a valid and useful learning experience for the child. However by using the process of reflection and the double loop I was able to turn it into a deeper learning experience for myself.
In the technology incident I was relying on a combination of prior knowledge and intuition. A small amount of reflection in action took place as I was introducing the child to the game. I felt uneasy about the game but it was only when I looked at the double loop that I realised why. Through the process of double looping I was able to identify the underpinning behaviourist model of the game. Intuitively I had tried to introduce more constructivist elements and these did seem to work in the child's interests.
what else could I have done?
I could have looked at the whole audit as a critical incident and analysed my own use of technology and the assumptions and governing variables that that revealed.
What can I do next?
I can try to incorporate more double loop reflections into my practice so they become more integrated into my way of doing things. In the first instance rather than just doing single loop reflections in my learning journal I can do some double one as well.
I can widen my view of critical incidents so that they become more than just a way of focussing on small incidents but can also encompass more 'system' based stuff - like the whole of my technology audit. I can move my focus from individual children to look at the wider school population.
I have always been wary of the idea of teaching as artistry or performance
"..... drawing on the 'teaching as artistry' tradition and using arguments drawn from jazz music and insights gained from the jazz metaphor - that teacher professionalism can be enhanced through attention to the intuitive, improvisatory and existentialist spontaneity of teaching as artistic performance."
( Humphreys and Hyland (2002))
This is not a style of teaching that appeals to me. The focus is too much on the teacher as central actor and the learners as passive audience. These reflections have allowed me to look at the reasons for my unease.
Areas for further study
Constructivist games, software and web sites.
The concept of 'personalisation' of education