4.1 Compare models of reflective practice
Reflective Practice is a very in-depth psychological subject with many well developed thoughts and variances. I have found that breaking it down into easy to read pieces extremely hard.
To attempt to do it justice one must first understand Dewey’s theory of Reflective Practice. As an accomplished philosopher, lecturer, campaigner for improved civil rights and generally outstanding academic, I should think that he, like all the authors of the models I have noted, would probably consider my condensing his theory of reflective practice into a bite size chunk as somewhat of a travesty.
What is it:
“Dewey stated that reflection was a specialised form of thinking. He considered reflection to stem from doubt, hesitation or perplexity related to a directly experienced situation. For him, this prompted purposeful inquiry and problem resolution (Sinclair, 1998)”
Kolb’s Learning Cycle suggests we learn from our own life experiences be it at home or at work – everything we do shapes our knowledge and beliefs. The Learning Cycle treats reflection as an integral part of such learning.
What is it: Four distinct stages, Experience, Reflect, Conceptualise, Plan

Gibbs developed a reflective cycle based upon Kolb’s work.
What is it: Description, Feelings, Evaluation, Analysis, Conclusion, Action Plan
Suggesting that theory and practice work together in a cycle, initially developed as a “de-briefing sequence” (1988, Gibbs, Learning by doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Polytechnic. p.46),
Chris Argyris and Donald Schön coined single-loop and double-loop learning in 1978.
What is it: In a nut shell Single Loop Leaning is where “Actions” lead to “Results” in a continuous loop. Our behaviour and actions are changed but problems and reasons behind the issues are still present.
Double loop – as above but with the addition of “Assumption” in regards to our operating assumptions, helping to remove the actual cause of the issue.
In Schon’s (1983) ‘The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action’., Schon concentrated on how professionals could put Reflective Learning into practice and the benefits it could bring.
In order to do this he came up with two types of reflection: reflection-on-action (after-the-event thinking) and reflection-in-action (thinking while doing).
“The practitioner allows himself to experience surprise, puzzlement, or confusion in a situation which he finds uncertain or unique. He reflects on the phenomenon before him, and on the prior understandings which have been implicit in his behaviour. He carries out an experiment which serves to generate both a new understanding of the phenomenon and a change in the situation. (Schon, 1983, p. 68)”
Johns’ (Johns’ model 2000) was developed for nursing staff in social care in particular. What is it: He believed in structured reflection that was kinder and less prone to dwelling on the negative. A model with sections of Looking in, Looking Out, Aesthetics, Factors, Knowledge, Personal, ethics and reflexivity it’s a softer approach for users.
Bain’s model (Bain and others, 1999) was created using research completed with student teachers.
What is it: Known as the ‘5Rs’. Level 1: Reporting Level 2: Responding Level 3: Relating Level 4: Reasoning Level 5: Reconstructing. This research noted the impact of daily notes of reflections as being helpful.