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Unit information: Becoming a Reflective Practitioner (Reflective Journal/RJA) in 2015/16

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Unit name Becoming a Reflective Practitioner (Reflective Journal/RJA)
Unit code EDUCM0028
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Mrs. Lythgoe
Open unit status Not open



Creating inclusive learning environments: the role of the teacher

Theories of learning and teaching

Special Educational Needs

The teacher as leader

School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The purpose of the unit is to record, in an incremental process, the participant’s developing knowledge and understanding which forms the core evidence of his or her development as a reflective practitioner.

Part 1: Classroom Management (RJA1) Analyses how development as a classroom practitioner with responsibility for effective learning and pupil behaviour continues to be informed, by blending the insights gained from the academic literature; official reports from practitioners and inspectors; and the participant’s own further evidence on behaviour management.

Part 2: Assessment for Learning (RJA2) Much of what teachers and learners do in classrooms can be described as assessment. Tasks and questions prompt learners to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills. What learners say and do is then observed and interpreted, and judgements are made about how learning can be improved. These assessment procedures are an essential part of everyday classroom practice and involve both teachers and learners in reflection, dialogue and decision making. This unit prompts Participants to reflect on the impact that assessment has had on teaching and learning, as informed by theories of Assessment for Learning (AfL) in the classroom.

The reflective assignments are accounts of practice designed to empower Participants and help to improve their practice as an autonomous professional. Concise and thoughtful descriptions should be analytical, identify critical moments in practice that have led to change, and should be informed by theory. Carefully selected, relevant and useful theory should be synthesised into the account. Journal entries will serve as an aide memoire and facilitate the process by which Participants can focus on specific incidents to develop and analyse their professional practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Maintain and organise a journal which aids their developing professional practice.
  • Evaluate their professional practice in the light of [critical and analytical] reflection on relevant education theories and models.
  • Relate their experiences to the literature, and use the literature as a source of reflection.
  • Improve their approach to managing pupil behaviour.
  • Make accurate and productive use of assessments.
  • Identify avenues for future professional learning.
  • [Manage the self as an autonomous and independent learner, setting goals and developing agendas for personal and professional growth].

Most participants undertaking this unit will be aiming to achieve 20 credits at level 7, and all the intended learning outcomes above will be assessed against in this case.

Exceptionally, participants may undertake this unit for 20 credits at level 6, and in this case the intended learning outcomes [in square brackets] will not be assessed against.

Teaching Information

A reflective journal. Discussion of developing practice with tutors. Individual study.

Assessment Information

Participants will carry out a range of formative activities during the year which will provide matter for reflection on the key issues addressed by this unit.

Participants will maintain a reflective journal throughout the programme, and use this as the basis for recording and developing their professional practice. Use of the journal to support discussions with tutors is an important part of the formative assessment of this unit [ and essential for candidates wishing to be assessed at level 7].

Participants will also complete two summative assessment tasks, drawing on their experiences. These will include documentation of planning, teaching and evaluation activities to illustrate their skills in a chosen topic. The task will be the equivalent of two 2,500 word assignments, each submitted, at mid-points of the first two school terms, and will take a variety of formats according to the varying needs of different subjects and topics.

Participants will also be required to achieve a satisfactory standard in their practical teaching. This will be assessed through observations by tutors during the school placement.

Reading and References

Blum, P. (2001) A Teacher’s Guide to Anger Management. London/NewYork: RoutledgeFalmer. (available as an e-book)

Bolton, G. (2010) Reflective Practice. London: Sage.

Pollard, A. (2008) Reflective Teaching (3rd Edition): Evidence-informed Professional Practice. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd

The Report of the Practitioners’ Group on School Behaviour and Discipline “Learning Behaviour” chaired by Sir Alan Steer (2005) updated 2009

School Ofsted Report or alternative local document selected in discussion with the Professional Tutor.

Swaffield, S. (ed.) (2008) Unlocking Assessment: Understanding for Reflection and Application. London: RoutledgeFalmer (available as an e-book)