Reflective Practice For Students

Reflective practice is a way of learning from experience and can assist students in the process of their own learning, as well as the ongoing assessment of their learning. When regularly used, it has been shown to improve academic achievement, as well as assist in personal growth and development.


In this article, we are going to be taking a closer look at how reflective practice can be incorporated into education. We will explore what reflective practice is, why it’s important for students, and how it can be implemented within different learning contexts. 

Let’s begin.


Why Reflective Practice is so Important for Students

There are many reasons why reflective practice is such an important tool for students. Besides providing an opportunity for personal development, reflective practice can be used for assignments and essays, as well as to help with exam preparation. It can also be used to develop critical thinking skills, which is something that all students should have.

When using reflective practice, students are able to gain an understanding of themselves, others, and the world around them. This helps them to become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as to understand how they learn best. As a result, students are better equipped to make decisions about future study, or even career choices.


How to Perform Reflective Practice for Students

Now that you know why reflective practice is so beneficial for students, we are now going to be providing you with an overview of how it is typically performed. This will help you to better understand why it is such a necessary tool for personal and academic development.

Reflective practice can be very useful for students who find themselves struggling academically because it enables them to take stock of where they stand at any given time and consider whether there are changes that need to be made. In addition, it has the potential to provide you with valuable insight into your own abilities and limitations.


To help you better understand the reflective practice, let’s take a look at a model. One of the most relevant models of reflective practice is Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle1, which is regularly applied to education and learning. This model of reflective practice consists of the following stages:

Description: During this stage, you reflect on what has happened. As an example, you recently completed an assignment. 


Feelings: During this stage of Gibbs’ model, you are encouraged to reflect on how you were feeling.

Evaluation: Weigh up the situation. What did you enjoy about it, and what didn’t you enjoy?


Analysis: What is your overall opinion of the situation after self-reflection?

Conclusion/Action Plan: Now that you have done all of the above, you have the opportunity to consider what you could have done differently, and create an action plan to ensure the same mistakes do not happen again. 


As you can see, this can be applied to students because it encourages them to evaluate their experiences and make positive decisions based on these evaluations. This then allows them to become more knowledgeable and capable learners.

Besides following models of reflective practice, another useful tool relevant to education is the Guide for Reflective Writing2, which helps to encourage reflective essay-writing. The guide was developed by the University of Leeds and is designed to assist students in writing reflective essays. It contains guidelines for developing a reflective essay as well as suggestions for structuring your work. The guide includes five steps:


1) Beginning – Start off with a clear statement of purpose and introduce yourself.

2) Body – Explain what happened and how it affected you.


3) Conclusion Summarise what you learned and discuss how it may affect future behaviour.

4) References Include information about sources used in the paper.


5) Closing – End with a summary of the key points.

Reflective Practice Examples:

Alongside the above, there are many different ways that you can develop and regularly use reflective practice as a student. Here are just a few ways that you can try it out for yourself today:


1. Regularly Reading

One of the best ways that you can incorporate reflective practice into your studies is by making sure that you are taking the time to read about the various topics that you are studying. This will provide you with the opportunity to reflect on the information that you are learning and allow you to apply this knowledge to further studies.

2. Creating Action Plans

Another way you can use reflective practice is by regularly creating action plans. In order to do this, you should first identify the skills that you need to improve upon and then create an action plan to help you achieve them. As mentioned earlier, there are many different types of reflective practice that you can use when developing your own action plan. However, some of the most common ones include:


3. Reflecting on Past Assignments

It is essential that you review previous assignments and think about what went well and what could have been done differently. This will enable you to identify areas where you need to improve.

4. Reflecting on How You Performed in Class

Once you have identified the areas that you need to work on, you can then look back at your performance in class and think about why you were successful or unsuccessful. This will help you understand which aspects of your academic performance are related to your ability to engage in reflective practice.


5. Using Feedback From Others

At the end of the day, no matter how much effort you put into your studies, there will always be room for improvement. Therefore, it is important that you seek out feedback from others. Feedback is extremely useful as it helps you to identify what you need to focus on next.





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