Reflective Practice is the capacity to reflect on action so that you can engage in a process of continuous learning. According to one definition, it involves “paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively. This leads to developmental insight”. A key rationale for reflective practice is that experience alone does not necessarily lead to learning; deliberate reflection on experience is essential.
Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where people learn from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal learning or knowledge transfer. It may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement. It is also an important way to bring together theory and practice. Through reflection a person is able to see and label forms of thought and theory within the context of his or her work.
A person who reflects throughout his or her practice is not just looking back on past actions and events, but is taking a conscious look at emotions, experiences, actions and responses, and using that information to add to his or her existing knowledge base and reach a higher level of understanding and inform future approaches.
The CPD portfolio template contains a section dedicated to recording your reflective practice.
Whether you use this format, or prefer to use a personal notebook or a spreadsheet to record your reflections, it is taking the time to undertake the reflection that is the most important aspect of reflective practice. Your records can be useful when it comes to preparing for your Career Conversation.