Early Years Podcast

Inclusive practice in the Early Years

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Episode 3: The importance of reflective practice with Dr. Sharon Colilles

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Throughout this episode, Shaddai Tembo is joined by Dr. Sharon Colilles to discuss why reflective practice is so important when adopting an inclusive approach.  
Sharon touches on the power of being present within the moment and really taking time away from the day-to-day routines is crucial to adapt and ensure inclusivity is embedded. The diversity of children is fluid, and it changes all the time. Therefore, the routine and the environment need to change and adapt, which can only be recognised through self-reflection but also peer to peer reflection too.

Celebration reflection 

This is a type of reflection that Sharon refers to during this episode. It is one where practitioners can focus on what has worked well (instead of what hasn’t) and celebrating areas and instances that children and practitioners are proud of. This type of reflection improves motivation and supports further positive implementations that will make a difference to the overall learning environment. 

Allowing time for reflection 

During busy schedules, finding time to reflect can be challenging, but it is something that is so crucial for settings to implement, for children’s development but also own personal and professional development too. Sharon shares some simple strategies to ensure there is time for reflection within learning environments: 

  • Ensure staff meetings encourage and cover reflective practice  
  • Offering educators time throughout the day to sit, evaluate and reflect is important but difficult to manage; therefore, making a rota depending on ratios for reflection can have a huge benefit to the practice 
  • Devoting training sessions or days incorporating reflection techniques 
  • Ensuring staff have access to CPD on inclusion and diversity, whereby they can feed back to the wider team on the knowledge gained and ideas they believe should be implemented from the learning they have undertaken. 

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