9.3 Cultivating a commitment to being Reflective

People with their hands together.
Photo by Hannah Busing is licensed under the Unsplash License.

Boud (2001) reinforces the benefit of reflection in a social context for educators: These reflective processes can be undertaken in isolation from others, but doing so often leads to a reinforcement of existing views and perceptions. Working in pairs or with a group for which learning is reason for being can begin to transform perspectives and challenge old patterns of learning. It is only through a give and take with others and by confronting the challenges they pose that critical reflection can be promoted.

As educators embark on the practice of reflection the elements that Taylor (2007) describes supports the process of reflection and creates concreteness to what for some might feel quite abstract. The notion of reflecting individually, with a critical friend or mentor is noted as the educator moves through the stage of conscious competence. Rather than becoming complacent or habitual, Taylor (2007) suggests moving into reflective consciousness which he describes as mature practice. Skattebol (2010), suggests “engagement in this type of reflection propels educators to examine the dimensions of the teaching or learning that popular discourse regards as interior, and how non-conscious (often collective) habits operate in tandem with our conscious and cognitively driven interactions” (p.89).

Circular Venn diagram with one large circle and 4 smaller circles showing the interconnectedness of consciousness thinking
Figure 1- Conscious Competence Learning Model. Courtesy of Will Taylor, Department of Homeopathic Medicine, National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon, USA, March 2007.

This context of reflection takes our thinking from a habit to an intention or reflective consciousness and this is the essence of reflective practice.


Boud, D. (2001). Using journal writing to enhance reflective practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 90, 9-17. https://doi.org/10.1002/ace.16

Skattebol, J. (2010). Affect: a tool to support pedagogical change. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 31(1), 75-91. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596300903465435

Taylor, E. (2007). An update of transformative learning theory: a critical review of the empirical research (1999–2005) International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(2), 173-191. https://doi.org/10.1080/02601370701219475

Third, S. (2015). The effects of regular reflective writing on early childhood educators effectiveness in the workplace [Unpublished paper] Masters of Arts – Integrated Studies, Athabasca University.



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Reflective Practice in Early Years Education Copyright © 2022 by Sheryl Third is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book