Category Archives: 3.4 Prof. Reflection & Commitment


On the 26th January I went to a talk about a campaign called Upstart. I wasn’t very sure what the talk was going to be about but I thought that I would be able to see what is happening in Scotland with regards to education. I found the talk interesting and it brought up ideas which had never crossed my mind. It challenged ideas that I didn’t think needed challenging, like the age we start school.

Upstart’s aim is to introduce a play based kindergarten stage until the age of 7.  Sue Palmer explained to us that the view of society nowadays is to have children reading and writing by a certain age. However she explains that it isn’t a race and therefore is creating more pressure on children. So she explains that play is the element needed.

Scotland’s starting age for school is 4/5 and this is one of the earliest starting ages in the world. What they have found is that in the education ranking of western nations, the countries which started their children at 7 are more likely to gain better grades. This research and others carried out shows there is little to gain from an early start.

One of the audience members suggested that the starting them earlier makes them ‘burn’ out in their teens. This therefore makes them not want to go to school and they aren’t bothered about attaining. I think this is what I saw when I was at school as no one wanted to be there anymore.

Suzanne Zeedyk said that free play influences these qualities:

  • sensory development
  • creativity
  • emotional experiences
  • thinking ability
  • friendships
  • motoric development
  • sense of self
  • curiosity

She explained that these are what we want children to become with curriculum for excellence. Her thoughts suggested this could be done through play rather than needing to read or write really young.

One of the main points that stood out from me however from Suzanne’s talk was that Patrick Geddes designed kindergartens for children to be out in the garden. A quote from him we were told was ‘By creating we think, by living we learn.’

Although this talk was very thought through and had many reasons for starting at 7, I don’t think I could make a decision just based on that talk, as I would need to consider all possibilities. However I could see the benefits and it definitely gave me a different look out to how children should be taught at certain ages and what would be most beneficial to them. I hope to look into this at a later date so I can see the pros and cons for starting children’s education later.

On this link here is a radio show and at 52 minutes, Sue Palmer talks about the campaign.





Reflecting on other’s posts.

Reading through others posts has really made me consider what to blog about.

I now have realised that personal experience is a good way to give a context for what you believe. As you have this experience you can give more detailed answer and conversation on the topic you pick. I think because you have experience it makes it more personal and you really get the feeling of that person.

I like the way that someone may have seen something on social media and used this to develop a post. This shows using things that we have in daily life and then being able to reflect on this to create a response. I think that things on social media that you read are likely to give you knowledge and help you within this profession as you need to keep up to date with everything and this way you can reflect on these things you read.

The way some people bring theory into their own thoughts and opinions shows that you are reflecting on how the theorists could be correct or not. It allows debate and also means that others can see both points and take their own view. I think linking theory to what you see when on placement could be interesting as it shows whether what theorists say are correct or whether it shows more than one theorists ideas.

Interestingly the way posts aren’t always directed to school but education in general. Adding an idea that education is all around us, children don’t just learn at school. The idea of informal education is also paramount and therefore ideas such as morals are likely to be learnt outside school. These ideas also helps us understand what children are likely to know already and what they may believe. Therefore we should keep this in mind when teaching.

Overall looking at these blogs shows to me what sort of things others have found out about and are considering when becoming teachers. It also has helped me see what I can do to improve my posts.

Enquiring Practitioner

To be an enquiring practitioner I think you are always making formal investigations throughout your professional career. The research is based on the career in which taking, for us it would be teaching. This research that teachers take is done by themselves or within group collaboration. The use of being a enquiring practitioner means that you can reflect and evaluate teaching that you may have done or others may have completed or how you’re going to teach a lesson in the future.

Working as an enquiring practitioner has its benefits, one being that you can encourage and empower other colleagues to question and challenge education which may mean that they then change the way education is delivered. Also being an enquiring practitioner means that you can monitor your own teaching and others and therefore develop your practice and possibly your understanding on some topic for example. When monitoring your own practice you may find new strategies to use to teach with and therefore be able to develop your teaching and benefit the children from this. If you know more about your profession or what you are actually teaching then your self esteem with be enhanced and so will the identity you create of yourself through your profession. When being an enquiring practitioner you may work a lot together in groups and therefore there is benefits of working collaboratively too. Such as you are likely to have more knowledge this way as everyone will have a subject they are stronger at probably or a skill that they struggle with and so there would be a range of skills. Also you can bounce ideas off each other and therefore your discussions may become deeper than they would if it was just you working alone. Also someone may suggest something that you had never thought about or think about a certain topic from a different angle to what you do.

However there are disadvantages of being an enquiring practitioner especially when working in groups. If your group doesn’t have a clear aim then how are you meant to know what you are working towards and this therefore probably means that there will be a lack of motivation and therefore the group would be disorganised. There may be problems if group members are late and therefore not always 100% sure what is happening and therefore they can’t prepare ready for the next time you meet and therefore make the group not progress as much as like. Also if someone is dominating then they may not let anyone else put their views across and could create tension within the group.


Characteristics of a professional


Patience helps us be more understanding towards others. For example if someone doesn’t understand something as quickly as you might, then giving them time to understand it means that you both are on the same page in what you understand. This shows being professional as you are taking into account others and therefore showing a better professional behaviour. Also when using this to teach children it is a friendlier approach and more expected as you can’t expect a child to understand something they have just heard about straight away. Plus if you show patience towards the children this may rub off and they then show patience to others in their class to or when they get to work making them learn professional skills from the start.


When a point is made that you don’t agree with and you want to put your opinion across you have to remember to be respectful of others views too. This is because other people may look at something in a different way to how you look at something. This also makes you see other sides to an argument so helps you broaden your knowledge and widens your gap and therefore you may see more possible outcomes when you look at other questions in the future. Also if you show respect to someone then they are more likely to show respect back and create a more professional relationship with you.


When you are honest you are showing your genuine self and therefore you are showing yourself as a open person. When you are honest to people they are more likely to give you more respect. With more respect you are likely to be trusted with work and other elements within your profession. This may also mean that you become more professional as more people with interact with you because of the trust you have gained.


The idea of being honest and showing moral principles means that you can show your views and gain trust from others. The quality of your honesty shows how much people can trust you and also your morals are shown and therefore people are more likely to think about your morals before saying something and they you should respect their morals. Some morals might be expected from society and therefore if you stick to these you are keeping to the view that everyone would expect from you. If you do this then in effect you are following the ‘rules’ which people assume you know and not doing anything out of the norm. I think this would improve communication and conversations with others and therefore make people more professional because of this.


I think being compassionate will help towards being a professional as being compassionate to your colleagues, and within teaching the parents and children, means they are more likely to come and talk to you as you may seem more open and willing to talk to.  Also with being compassionate you may see how bad something is for someone and therefore help them and therefore this would be seen as professional as it is showing you helping them and showing genuine concern. Being compassionate will also help you see other peoples lives and how it affects different people as they are more likely to come to you for help.