Learning to teach: becoming a reflective practitioner
Learning to teach: becoming a reflective practitioner

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Learning to teach: becoming a reflective practitioner

6.3 Atkins and Murphy model

Atkins and Murphy (1993) address many of these criticisms with their own cyclical model, see Figure 5.

Described image
Figure 5 Atkins and Murphy model

Murphy and Atkins’ model can be seen to explicitly support the kind of deeper level reflection that was discussed earlier in this course. This is not to say that the other models aren’t useful, far from it, but that it is important to remain alert to the potential to provide superficial responses as the critical, questioning and challenging elements of critical reflection are not as explicit.

Activity 5: Lesson analysis

Time: 30 minutes

Open the document Lesson analysis [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   that you used in the previous activity and then re-read the notes made by the students.

  1. Analyse the notes in terms of Figure 4 and Figure 5 (Gibb’s model and Atkins and Murphy’s model). What strikes you about the level of reflection of two responses?
  2. What learning is evident in the two responses?
  3. What aspects of the models you have looked at are evident from each of the responses? Which are missing?


Both students are reflective in their evaluations. However, in the second account, the student is exploring possible explanations for the issues that have arisen. The actions that this student decides to take are likely to lead to a deeper understanding of the reasons behind the issues that arose during the lesson. The model described in Figure 5 is probably slightly more helpful in this respect.

It is also worth highlighting that a written evaluation is invaluable in terms of helping the students to remember what happened at a time when they will be being bombarded with new experiences.


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?
Free Courses

OpenLearn has over 800 free courses across all our subjects designed by our academic experts. From 1 to 100 hours, introductory to advanced, you can start learning at any time and all for free.