What Is Critical Reflection Education Essay

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In the report first of all to study what is critical reflection, define what is reflection, through to compulsion or voluntarism, employer or individual responsibility, personal and values research the reflection of the role and value. Research how to realize the critical reflection, define what are CPD and PDP. People in certain work environment how to accurately use critical reflection, make critical reflection and CPD, PDP together, through the leadership skills, communication skills and problem solving skills, critical reflection and other aspects of the in-depth analysis. The last, write down my own personal development plan, through the strengths, weakness, opportunity and threats analyze my future development. From the report draw a conclusion.

2.0 Introduction

Critical reflection has great value in the areas of personal and professional development. Continuing professional development is a means by which one can maintain a competitive edge in their professional lives (Bourgeois 2011). This should be accompanied by personal development which will include the improvement of one's skill set in order to add value to one's own life as well as their professional life.

Reflection involves analyzing our knowledge and experiences critically. Reflective practice is the practical application of the results of reflection. It entails the individual identifying the patterns of thought that have been applied to our previous actions and how they will affect our growth and development going forward (Guralnik 2009). The difference between the two lies in the aim of reflective practice to improve the manner in which you work rather than just understanding it, which is what reflection aims to do.

The purpose of reflection and reflective practice is self-understanding and improvement. An individual reflects upon their thoughts and subsequent actions in the workplace with an aim to improve upon them (Welich 2007). By taking part in this process, an individual is then able to understand their own shortcomings and improve them by applying new strategies.

These are valuable to both an individual and the organization in which he/she is based. When an individual is able to improve their own actions through reflective practice, it benefits both themselves and their organization (Mintzberg 2009). Self-improvement of individual workers leads them to be more productive and efficient in the work place. This in turn leads to a more productive work place, especially if all the employees within an organization are encouraged to use reflective practice (Baidu 2010).

3.0 Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing professional development can be seen as a direct result of critical reflection. Once one reflects critically on their professional capabilities and goals, then they are able to start the process of CPD. It is important to understand several concepts involved with CPD.

There are four stages in the CPD cycle: reflection on practice, planning, action, and evaluation. These four stages take place in a cyclic manner (Slack 2001). Reflection on practice involves an individual's identification of what he or she needs to learn or be able to do in the professional environment. An individual critically reflects on his/her own professional practice (Pyme Administrate Hoy 2010). This will include what is being done right and what requires improvement. Depending on the individual's profession, this may include certain techniques and procedures that have come up within their area of expertise.

Planning involves the specific actions that are taken by the individual to learn the things which he or she has identified in the reflection on practice stage. After the specific areas of focus have been identified, then the individual comes up with the best way for him/her to learn. This may be through personal endeavors or by seeking professional assistance e.g. through seminars (.Jummal 1999) At this point, the areas of improvement have been identified and the necessary knowledge acquired. The next stage is action. This involves the implementation of the new knowledge in a professional setting. An individual acquires knowledge that will help improve their professional lives and the application of this knowledge in the work place is important to CPD (Lewis and Green 1998). If what was learned is not applied, then the two aforementioned stages will have been for nothing.

The fourth stage is evaluation. This is a reflection on what has been learned as well as its application. The individual can now evaluate what benefits, if any the learned and applied knowledge is benefitting his/her professional practice. They are then able to gauge the success of the effort that they have put towards CPD. The cyclic nature of CPD means that after a while, it will be necessary to begin the process again by reflecting on current practice (Porter 2000). This may overlap with the fourth stage of evaluation.

3.1 CPD paradoxes and dilemmas

There are several paradoxes that have been identified in CPD. Have explored these paradoxical concepts through their review of the work as follows:

3.1.1 Compulsion or Voluntarism

This applies to whether the pursuit of CPD is voluntary or by compulsion. The reason for CPD is an important factor that contributes towards one's dedication to it (Garner and Boulton 2011).

3.1.2 Employer or Individual Responsibility

There is both an individual responsibility as well as one for the employer when it comes to CPD. The employer needs to create an environment that is conducive to CPD (Scales 2011). The individual's responsibility in this case is to pursue CPD within the tenets provided by the employer. Without dedication from both the employer and the individual, CPD cannot successfully occur.

3.1.3 Teaching or Learning

When an individual is taught something, they need to be able not only to learn it in theory, but also to apply it in practice. There needs to be a connection between the experiences on the ground and what is taught to the learner, which may not always happen (Megginson and Whitaker 2003) .

3.1.4 Life Purpose or Life Experience

Life experience in CPD requires the individual to reflect on the path that has led them to the present position. Life purpose involves reflection on the purpose of one's life, both professionally and personally to intensify the effects of CPD (Pickering 2011).

3.1.5 Personal Development or Organizational Learning

An organization is incapable of learning. Only the people working within that organization are able to learn and improve (Headley 2010). CPD must therefore begin with personal development of individuals that will later lend itself to organizational improvement.

3.1.6 Values Driven or Pragmatic Development

Within an organization, development can either be driven by pragmatic concerns or those of the values held by the organization. Those developments based on the organizations values are consistent and can hold true over time. On the other hand, those driven by immediate pragmatic concerns such as profit tend to change from time to time and employees might find them hard to adhere to (Mauborgne 2009). They may even at times be contrary to the individuals' CPD and the organization's values.

3.1.7 Journey or Exploration

CPD can either be based on preset achievements or goals or can seek improvement without necessarily setting out the final goal. The type applied depends on an individual's preference, time constraints, and the flexibility of the organization in which he/she is based.

4.0 Learning Theories

There are several theories related to the manner in which individuals learn. It is important for an individual to understand these theories and relate them to his/her own way of learning (Williamson2011) . Understanding one's learning style preferences is important to personal and professional development because it will assist in the planning stage of the CPD, as well as PDP.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, there is a certain order in which one's needs must be met. These needs are arranged in a pyramid, with the most necessary needs at the bottom of the pyramid and the least necessary needs at the top.

CPD and PDP are related to the final two needs described in Maslow's hierarchy. More specifically, CPD can be likened to a pursuit of one's responsibilities in the workplace while PDP can be associated with personal growth and fulfillment. In keeping with Maslow's hierarchy, it is therefore important to pay attention to the needs that come before esteem and self-actualization in order to be able to pursue PDP and CPD.

Dunn and Dunn's learning Styles: According to Dunn and Dunn, there are certain stimuli that should be used to stimulate learners (Slack 2011). A further classification provided by Dunn and Dunn divide these stimuli into five segments i.e. environmental, emotional, sociological, psychological, and physiological (Dunn and Dunn 2003). The rate of learning and retention is influenced by more than just an individual's level of intelligence.

When the vark styles are taken into consideration, then it is clear that some teaching methods are better suited for specific learners. Visual learners find teaching methods that include visual aids favorable to learning. Auditory learners prefer to listen (Administrate Hoy 2010). Reader or writer learners like to refer to books and take down notes. Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They rely mostly on their sense of touch. There are instances where a learner's preferred mode consists of two or more of those described above.

Experiential Learning: Experiential learning can either involve learning through experience or applying what one has learned instantly to a pertinent setting. According to Kolb and Fry (1976), learning involves a cycle that includes experience, observation and experience, forming abstract concepts, and testing new situations. The cycle can begin at any one of these four points. Just because experience is mentioned first does not mean that it is always the first step in the cycle.

5.0 Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Through reflection and reflective practice, it is then possible to come up with a personal development plan. A personal development plan is not necessarily completely independent of CPD. One may view some areas of PDP such as pursuing education to be in line with certain goals within PDP. Learning is a continuous life event (Mathews and Seott 2002). There is not a single time in the course of one's lifetime that one can stop learning. This is especially due to the fact that human beings learn through life experiences.

The starting point in examining my own learning cycle would begin with experience and knowledge up to the present. This includes educational background and professional experience (Porter 2011). There are certain experiences that have great value in teaching of new skills, or perhaps pointing out flaws in my own preferred process.

5.1 My Own Personal Development Plan (PDP)

It is important for an individual to have a PDP that reflects their own knowledge, experiences, and aspirations. There are two major things involved in my PDP. These include personal skill development and professional advancement. These two are interrelated because in pursuing personal skill development through learning and education (Willianmson 2010), I will at the same time increase my chances for professional advancement.

My PDP will reflect the interrelated nature of PDP and CPD, and as such involve milestones in the PDP that will contribute towards CPD and professional advancement. The future includes continuous learning. This will be facilitated through seeking educational opportunities such as seminars (Crawford 2008). It will also involve a personal dedication to continuous learning through constant reading of relevant informative websites and blogs. A great advantage of this avenue is that it is up to date with many websites and blogs being updated at least once a week if not more (Anna 2000). Blogs and websites also provide a more relaxed and interactive learning atmosphere than seminars and other formal learning environments.

5.2 My Future Plan

In the future, I want to be a hotel manager in China. Using the SWOT analysis method, developing my knowledge and skills, I will be able to apply this newly acquired expertise in my professional life (Secord 2010). In keeping with Maslow's hierarchy, pursuing self-actualization needs will by extension also help me meet my esteem needs at the professional level. PDP takes precedence over CPD because personal development.

Strengths: As a hotel manager, my biggest advantage is good at communicating with others. Hotel service industry is the biggest characteristic of regular and customer communication, understanding of customer ideas, better service to customers. As a hotel manager, and customer communication is important, but it is more important to know how to communicate with staff. Concerned about the staff's daily life, on the staff of the outstanding performance to give praise, when employees have errors, should not blindly criticize, but education and help employees. In the usual to allow employees to feel they are valued. Through the staff and guests communication, better management of the hotel.

Weakness: Doing all the things before, I will first think of all possible scenarios, and to make corresponding arrangement. Hotel service industries, this weakness causes my usual workload is too big, spending too much time, effort and employees in a little thing. Often this is not conducive to the normal operation of the hotel.

Opportunity: In China, tourism industry is very developed, in recent years, the tourism industry is on a new level, and the development of tourism industry will promote the development of hotel industry. But I have practical experience, to China's hotel industry has some understanding, for newly graduated students, I have to quickly adapt to the hotel service work. A lot of the hotel catering and housekeeping departments just hire some nonprofessional staff training after work, a lack of professional personnel. I as a hotel management graduate students, to the hotel service industry has deep understanding, can quickly into the work.

Threats: Although the hotel management in China is a new type of occupation, but as China Tourism and hotel service industry development, more and more technical talents, but the hotel management job is really limited, for me it is a great threat to. So I'm supposed to work at the same time many self-promotion, pay attention to the development of personal skills, at the same time the accumulation of experience and knowledge, in the remain invincible in the work.

6.0 Conclusion

Reflective practice is the starting point of both PDP and CPD. Through critically analyzing one's knowledge and experiences, it is then possible to come up with a valid plan that will lead to self-improvement (Bourgeois 2010). It is important to note that PDP and CPD are not mutually exclusive. Both involve critical reflection on past experience and coming up with a plan for improvement (Sarasvathy 2012). At times, pursuing one's personal development goals such as seeking education can advance CPD in an individual's career. It is therefore important to pay close attention to both PDP and CPD.

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