This paper will explore the role of the director in modeling reflective practice as a tool to move a program towards programmatic excellence. Childcare directors are closely connected to all aspects of the childcare program; they supervise and support the teachers and staff and they work with the children and families. They are responsible for the program administration. They are the program manager and the center leader. This paper will suggest ways to incorporate more reflective practice into our programs at Kennedy Heights Community Center. The literature on self-reflective practice will be explored and analyzed to support the paper’s thesis of reflective practice as a tool on the path to excellence. The limitations and weaknesses of
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“We are talking about the development of a profession, not simply training in a few specific skills. The development of professionals implies, just as the concept of development implies for children, a combination of maturation mediated by experience” (R.E. Duff, 1995). But adult development and professional development is different from children. Our learning is shaped by a lifetime of experiences, adult brains are developed and the neurons are connected. Young children have a greater capacity for learning to shape who they are and who they become. For adults there are more layers of experiences, emotions, and motivations to peel away before one can really know themself. Modeling and leadership from the director is needed to support teachers’ self-reflection. “To encourage and empower the individual to assume greater personal responsibly for professional growth and change, we need to attend to the reflective activities and inner conversations taking place continually in the mind of the teacher that influences her views and attitudes towards her role and ways of interacting” (R.E. Duff, 1995, p. 84).
In their article, Transforming Environments Through Self-Reflection Wanda Billheimer and Gina Lewis explore the pattern for change as “Provocation / Reflection / Dialogue,” The authors facilitated groups of teachers through this pattern by providing provocations such as quotes, photos,