‘No one can consider themselves a professional unless they are prepared to engage in reflective activities’. Gardner 2006Critical reflection is essential in developing effective practice. Our own values and attitudes do come into play as individuals and as teachers. The trick is to first acknowledge that we have personal biases, identify where these are and work with them. O’Connor & Diggins highlight that having reflective practice as a frame of mind assists educators in catching their own assumptions and exploring them rather than taking their biases for granted (Arthur et al.
2008, p. 138).Becoming a reflective teacher is going on a journey and becoming self-aware of our positives and negatives. According to Larivee (2009, p.19) part of being a reflective practitioner is to use ongoing inquiry, solitary reflection, perpetual problem solving and developing awareness. Nolan &Raban (2015, p.
2) state that our assumptions shape practice which then determines how educators think and act. As teachers working in the early childhood sector, we will work throughout our careers with a vast variety of families and family structures, of which we may not agree with their personal values system or how they function as a family. Berk (2013, p. 566) insists in the context of moulding childrens’ development, nothing equals the family in power and total breadth of influence. According to Piaget children’s thinking shows their unique way of understanding and interpreting the world (Arthur et al. 2008, p.Order now
92). Families do have a vision of their values and attitudes towards early childhood education, whether that is a firm belief, an assumption,or knowledge.. .007, n.p.
) having a critical framework is a guided progress, increasing potential for positive outcomes for the child, the family, the teacher and the wider community. Developing a personal culture of reflection and re-examining our values and biases takes strength, desire and constant adjustment. Engaging in reflective thinking involves educators to observe, listen, question and critique. According to Nolan &Raban (2015, p. 67) a ‘community of practice’ is talking and thinking about practice by further exploration and reflection. Thinking critically encourages educators to be proactive, extending or refining an educator’s point of views.
In the perfect world educators and families could all negotiate from an impartial point of view incorporating their current practices and strengths to equally co-exist in every child’s learning (Arthur et al. 2008, p. 583).