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A Reflective Practice Assignment Demonstrating Personal and Professional Development and the use of Critical Reflexivity in a Special Needs Environment.

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Introduction

A Reflective Practice Assignment Demonstrating Personal and Professional Development and the use of Critical Reflexivity in a Special Needs Environment. This assignment will commence with a brief understanding of how reflective practice can be used to benefit teaching and learning. It will then progress through reflections on both personal and professional growth throughout this learning journey and experiences during placement in a special needs environment. Since the introduction of this concept 'reflective practice' by Donald Schon in 1987, many authors (Kolb 1984, Evans 1997, Ferraro 2000) have provided their varying opinions about the meaning of the term. It is therefore appropriate and necessary for the structure of this assignment to give my personal interpretation. It seems that this is the process of putting thoughts and feelings about an experience down in order to analyse and then learn from them to enable planning for future actions. However it becomes apparent that there is no one prescribed method for reflective practice, the structure should be based around needs. According to Ferraro (2000) ...read more.

Middle

Research by the same author (Corbett 2001, p44) states; "How a university once spoke of the inclusion of children with Downs Syndrome that they felt in the UK we are very much stuck in the 'dump and hope' phase" (Research in Corbett 2001, p44) Whereby the above is very much similar to the rather narrow opinion I had before I entered the school. Upon further reading surrounding this area, it becomes so clear to me that that the 'deep culture' of schools should be about what the pupil actually experiences from the school day, not how well they participated in netball, or if they scored a goal in hockey, but how they felt when they got to school, and at break times and at all other times when the lessons are not planned for differing needs. My previous opinions surrounding inclusion of special needs pupils in my lessons stopped at the end of the lesson, they did not carry on through to break or dinner or any other time when the pupils are experiencing day to day life in the school. ...read more.

Conclusion

The role of the support staff for pupils with special needs in my opinion has been completely altered. Following the experiences during this placement (especially after situation 4 in appendix A) it has become so clear to me what a great difference having close support with these pupils can make. Wright and Sugden 1999 back up this judgment with opinions regarding the invaluable role of support assistants to a pupil's education. From my experiences at West Oaks, it has reflected this opinion and anyone could see how important their role is if used in the correct way. During physical education lessons, I now stress the importance for myself to involve the support staff as much as possible with the lesson. Making sure that they know and understand what the learning objectives are and demonstrating ideas for them to aid in their support. This would allow for a more inclusive lesson within physical education. The reflection from this assignment has demonstrated critically, the learning journey that has taken place throughout this placement. It has described practice in relation to theory and what action could be taken in the future in order to provide a more inclusive physical education environment for all pupils. ...read more.

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