Research on reflective teaching can be received by the writers at Paper Masters. By its simplest definition, reflective learning is essentially the practice of learning from the past. It is the act of reflection in order to identify and use elements of past experience to support present and future experiences. The concept is based on the assumption that there is value in being able to identify past experiences and use them to influence or pattern what we do and how we do it in the present as well as in the future. That value comes in the form of learning, which is why reflective practice has been so broadly embraced in the realm of education. Nevertheless, while numerous reflective practice models and their variations have been introduced, research offers three models that it is fair to suggest can be generalized to use in the field of psychology as well as in the field of education.
In all three cases, the reflective practice models assume teacher and student participation, which analysis will show can also translate to therapist and client participation. Research by Paper Masters seeks to use the example of experienced teacher and pre-service or student-teacher participation, where the experienced teacher is representative of professional teachers in general and the pre-service or student teacher is representative of students in general.
Each model is designed to demonstrate how reflective practice can be used to assist students in learning from their teacher’s practice how to “frame the problems of practice” or the problems of any particular setting for themselves. In essence, the pre-service or student-teacher is provided the opportunity to see how reflective practice works by the example of the experienced teacher, much like the average student can learn how reflective practice works from his or her classroom teacher and the client can learn how reflective practice works from his or her therapist.
The Follow Me model in the example of the experienced teacher who endeavors to demonstrate and describe to the pre-service or student-teacher his or her pedagogical knowledge, after which, the student-teacher is encouraged to try and develop and imitate the use of the same knowledge. The goal of this model is that the student-teacher will be able to learn about how to deal with the setting associated with teaching by “doing in similar ways to the experienced teacher.
The use of this model can be fairly generalized to the field of psychology, where the therapist takes a reflective approach to describing what he or she knows about handling, coping with or experiencing a certain circumstance or setting and encourages the client to imitate the use of the knowledge. Even more beneficial is the client’s development of the ability to reflect on how he or she has handled, coped with or experienced similar or different circumstances of settings.
Although the research demonstrates that reflective practice has gained greater attention in the realm of education, an examination of the basic models of reflective practice reveals that reflective practice is applicable to any field where practitioners are interested in teaching others to process information as well as develop a greater ability to retain information that will assist them in successfully solving problems, including the field of psychology.