rpc4 – analysis


It is with the utmost pleasure that I post the following challenge, put together by non other than THE Josette LeBlanc. Josette regularly writes on her fabulous blog where she focuses on reflective practice and compassionate communication. She also leads a great group of teachers in monthly RP meetings from her home base in Daegu, South Korea. She has been a momentous mentor to me over the past two years and I believe the following RP challenge will add immensely to our RPPLN’s ongoing reflective mission.

In the last Reflective Practice (RP) Challenge (link) we started at the first stage of the Experiential Learning Cycle (ELC) and described a moment in our classrooms or workplace. The next stage in the ELC is what some might call the Interpretation stage. However, for the purposes of this challenge, we will divide our interpretation of our moment into two separate parts: Analysis and Generalization. The Generalization will come later in the challenge. For now, I’ll explain how we can move forward into Analysis.

Considering all the facets that you discovered in your description, come up with possible reasons for the actions and reactions. Generate as many possible explanations as you can. Look at the moment from different perspectives. Consider the material, teacher, students, student dynamics, or student-teacher relationship. Recall past teaching, learning, cultural, or life experiences. Refer to the educational, cognitive, and linguistic theories you know. All this will inform your analysis.

The basic question that you want to ask during the analysis stage is, “why?” Here are some examples of such questions:

– why does/did it matter (why was it important) in that lesson/interaction?

– why was it helpful (or not helpful) for the people involved? for yourself?

– why was it helpful (or not helpful) for the goals of the group/course/lesson?

I also want to offer another lens of Analysis to look through. It connects to something we touched on during the third prompt in this part of the challenge: the topic of feelings and needs. During your moment, certain feelings arose which may have caused you to react or behave in a certain way. As I describe in the linked post, when a certain feeling comes up, it is because a need of ours has either been met or has not been met. These feelings and needs can be relatively easy to identify in ourselves — I wrote that with a bit of apprehension because even identifying our own needs and feelings can prove challenging. However, we will never really know the feelings and needs of another. As empathic beings we can only attempt to understand what is going on inside someone else, and this is where I believe we can get great insight into the Analysis of our moments.

Make your best guess as to what your student or colleague was feeling during your moment and link this to a possible need he or she may have had. Click here for a list of needs and here for a list of feelings. I also suggest empathizing a bit more with yourself at this stage. Ask yourself, “What other feelings did I have and what need of mine was either being addressed or not addressed?”

I like using a table to help me analyze feelings and needs:

Moment: Student was sleeping in class.

Me (Teacher)

Other (Student)





annoyed Shared reality (I am here to teach and that means I hope you are here to learn) Exhausted Rest (Maybe he has a job and couldn’t get to sleep last night)

For your Analysis feel free to look through the lens of feelings and needs, as well as the questions offered above, and also feel free to simply look through the lens that resonates more with you.

I look forward to reading your Analyses! 


7 thoughts on “rpc4 – analysis

  1. Pingback: RPC 4 – Analysis | livinglearning

  2. Reblogged this on Throwing Back Tokens and commented:
    The topic of this Reflective Practice Challenge is one that is near and dear to me. I often turn to an analysis of feelings and needs when I am trying to make sense of a problem or challenge in class or in life. I am also writing a article on the topic and so I want to highlight the post I wrote for Observing the Class on my blog as well. Thank you for the opportunity to share John!

  3. Pingback: Reflective Practice Challenge – Analysis (as seen on Observing the Class) | Throwing Back Tokens

  4. Pingback: Reflective Practice: a Challenge to Analyze (RP4) | Wednesday Seminars

  5. Pingback: rpc – generalization | Observing the Class

  6. Pingback: RP Challenge 4: ELC Analysis | David Harbinson

  7. Pingback: rpc 6- action plan. one road ends, then next begins | Observing the Class

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