Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 4.1: Engage in professional development
Learning outcome: Be able to use reflective practice to contribute to own professional development
Assessment criteria: Explain how reflective practice leads to improved ways of working
Reflective practice is a process of self-examination and reflection that leads to improved ways of working. It involves critically reflecting on one’s own actions and experiences to identify areas for improvement and develop new skills and knowledge. Some of the theoretical models of reflective practice are discussed here.
When engaging in reflective practice, Early Years practitioners need to consider their own values, beliefs and assumptions, as well as the context in which they are working. They need to be aware of the potential biases that may influence their thinking and how these may impact how they work with children and families.
The process of deliberate, reflective practice helps Early Years practitioners to identify areas of their work that could be improved. They are then able to take positive steps towards self-improvement in the ways that they work.
Reflective practice may also be utilised as a group activity, for example, during team meetings. All team members can reflect on the systems, processes and procedures within the setting and discuss how they might make them better.