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Critical reflection is defined as:

  • "the conscious examination of past experiences, thoughts and ways of doing things.  Its goal is to surface learning about oneself and the situation, and to bring meaning to it in order to inform the present and the future.  It challenges the status quo of practice, thoughts and assumptions and may therefore inform our decisions, actions, attitudes, beliefs and understanding about ourselves."

Reflection can be used for many things:

  • "Allowing us to improve our own practice to gain better outcomes in the future"

  • "Increasing/improving our performance and skills"

  • "Increasing our awareness of our abilities and attributes and our evidence for these"

  • "Developing and expanding our employability"

  • "Evaluating the quality and success of our action plans"

  • "Applying theoretical knowledge/frameworks to real experiences and using this to expand our understanding of the underlying theory."

  • You can write your reflections down as you go, or when you have time. 

  • Reflect regularly to help get into the habit and see what you will be able to build on what you learn.

  • To start reflecting, ask yourself some questions about the experience you want to reflect on.

  • How can you record your answers to remember them in the future?

gibb's cycle

Gibb's cycle contains six stages:

  • Description

    • Gibb's begins with an outline of the experience being reflected on.

  • Feelings

    • Focus on feelings about the experience, both during it an after it.

  • Evaluation

    • What was good or bad about it from our point of view?

    • Use this evaluation to analyze the situation and try to make sense of it.

  • Analysis

    • A conclusion about what other actions that could have been taken to reach a different outcome

  • Conclusion

  • Action plan

This analysis will result in . The final stage involves building an action plan of steps which we can take the next time we find ourselves in a similar situation. 

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