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

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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

Timing: 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.