When to reflect
What type of reflective activity would have helped Debbie?
Click on the method(s) of reflection, based on the principles outlined by Schon, that you think would be most useful to develop Debbie's practice.
Then select the other answers to understand why they are not appropriate in this case.
Reflection before action
Using reflection before action, Debbie could have ensured a differentiated approach so that Claire's needs were met and her abilities came to the fore in the group, thus building self-esteem and motivation for the other tasks.
Reflection in action
Reflection in action is quite difficult in this situation. It often depends if the teacher has been in this situation before. This time, Debbie believes that giving Claire 'a bit of space' is the best thing for Claire, but maybe she should have acted beforehand to prevent the situation arising.
Reflection on action
Reflection on action would help Debbie to analyse the situation more fully and see the reasons why Claire may not be progressing as she should. Difficulties in learning are seldom one-dimensional. Claire is at a slightly lower level than the others, although she does have good mental arithmetic skills. Debbie should have devised a task which was differentiated to the needs of the learners. (She should already know their levels and capabilities.)
Debbie could have given each person in the group a specific role based on their strengths. She could have started by giving treatments which were in one or half hour slots, so it is initially easier to fit in appointments. As she coped well with the earlier tasks, Claire could have been asked to add up the figures, and the others to slot them into the diary.
There are also issues around Claire's feeling of being the 'mature' member of the group. And, although the other members of the group do not reiterate this, Claire's stereotypical attitude towards the others is emphasised by the allocation of small groups. Debbie puts Claire in a group with Mark and Elaine. Claire already feels that Mark should know more than her about maths because he is male, and tends to let Elaine do a lot of the work because she is the strongest in the group.