Reflective practice is the process of looking back on an experience you have had or a situation you have been in and objectively analysing and assessing what you did.
It is believed that experience itself is not enough to improve practice but the use of reflection in association with the experience can be a valuable teacher.
Reflective practice can be performed in just a few minutes. It does not need to be documented, however some people find it useful to keep a record or journal of their reflections.
There are several models of reflective practice, however they all roughly follow this process:
- THINK about the experience
- ASSESS what you did. What was good? What was bad?
- ANALYSE what you could have done differently
- EVALUATE what you will do better next time
For example, consider a situation where you take an individual diagnosed with ASD to an activity but you get caught in traffic and end up being 10 minutes late. This causes tremendous stress on the individual and they just want to go home and not participate in their activity. Although this was unfortunate for the individual, you believe that there was nothing you could have done to foresee the higher volume of traffic on that particular day. However, upon reflection, you decide that this situation could be avoided in the future by leaving ten minutes earlier. Going forward, this will improve your practice and the outcomes for the individual that you support.