Let me begin with what reflective practice is? It is very simple concept as the name says it all, thinking about or simply reflecting on what we do. It is very closely related to the experiential learning concept, where we think about what we did, what had happened and decide what could be done in unique way next time.
As a skill: This concept is widely used in the field of education over the past years. This theory shows people that one necessarily need not take the same loop of learning style every time and come with the similar results, instead it shows people that we can change our attitude or an approach towards a situation differently every time. Many of the great scholars agree that reflective practice is something that can be learnt over the course of time and develop oneself.
In the other words, it simply helps people to understand the theories either from the books or might be our personal ideas. By understanding and applying the theory we can explore ourselves, our own beliefs and imagination to find the solution to our problems.
In order for the critical, creative and constructing thinking to develop for necessary reflective practices, Neil Thompson in one of his books called People Skills, he suggests these six steps:
1. Read- around the topics we are learning about or want to learn.
2. Ask- others about the way they do things.
3. Watch- what is going on around you.
4. Feel- pay attention to your emotions, what prompts them, and how you deal with the negative ones.
5. Talk- share your views and experiences with others, probably close ones.
6. Think- learn to value time spent thinking about your work.
It is not just the thinking that is important to do a task, but also to understand the theory and to observe other’s practice too and can explore the ideas with others.
Well I have a experience that can be related to reflective practice, when I was in 11th my parents put me in a hostel for two years, before which I had never been in an hostel, I found it very difficult for me to adjust to that completely different lifestyle, it was difficult to mingle as most of them were maintain gangs at that time and I was not well aware of the routines of the hostel, so then I started to ask people about how things are going to work here and mostly I observed around and I understood some part of it, most of the time I felt home sick, but then I told myself and I am going to make it work for me and I started to talk to people and trying to adjust to the environment and I thought home sick emotion can be tackled by getting myself busy is what I did to overcome the negative emotion. And I gave it thought over the course of time I did a good job myself getting highest marks in exams and maintaining a good relationship with everyone.
Reflective practice has its benefits as it increases our self-awareness which is a key for emotional intelligence where it helps how to control our emotions and for the better understanding of others and oneself. It also helps people to develop creative thinking skills and also encourages one to be potentially give active engagement in a work place.
To conclude Reflective practice is a mechanism where it helps people understand better about themselves either as a student or a in a professional life. Even if it takes time to adopt the skills from reflective practice, it will definitely save time and energy.