Regularly Engage in Critical Reflection

Striving for Best Practice – Tip Three

This is the third in the EarlyWorks’ Striving for Best Practice blog series.

Tip Number Three – Regularly engage in critical reflection

Sometimes it can be difficult to ensure our critical reflections are actually ‘critical’. Sometimes we get carried away just recounting what happened, rather than looking more deeply at how our actions impacted upon the children’s learning and development. 

EarlyWorks can support whole services in taking critical reflections to a level where practice is consistently informed by our critical reflections (Exceeding theme 2, Standard 1.1).

  • Using EarlyWorks, all educators can regularly add to Reflections of Pedagogy.

  • To encourage reflection at a deeper and more meaningful level, administrators can Change the tool tips (focus questions) for Reflections of Pedagogy. This allows educational leaders to ensure educators’ reflections are more than just recounts, but instead support the service’s QIP, resulting in improvements to the educational program. Here are some examples of questions that might be posed:

    • What is your understanding of cultural diversity? Has this understanding changed over time? How has it changed? What led to that change? (reading, conversations, contact with families…)

    • How do you show respect for, and knowledge of, cultural diversity in your practice, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island histories and cultures? Do you have any examples from the past couple of weeks? Do you have any questions about different cultures? How might you find answers?

    • During the past week, how have you worked as a team to strengthen the educational program? Who did you work with? Was this teamwork effective? Were there any unexpected advantages (or issues) with teamwork? Is there anything else you could be doing to strengthen the program?

    • What do you know about the strengths, ideas, cultures, abilities and interests of the children in your room? In the past week, how has this knowledge informed the program, your thinking and your interactions with children, families and colleagues? What other questions do you still have? How will you find the answers?

  • Encourage educators to share reflections with each other and then reflect on that sharing to ensure “the service’s approach to curriculum decision-making reflects robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and is informed by critical reflection and past incidents”. (Guide to the NQF, p. 108)

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