Reflective writing: About Gibbs reflective cycle

  • Gibbs’ reflective cycle encourages you to think systematically about the phases of an experience or activity, and you should use all the headings to structure your reflection.

    See how we have used Gibbs' reflective cycle in our Health Visitor example .
    Forgotten the Health Visitor example?

    The reflective cycle (Gibbs 1988)

    The reflective cycle - Gibbs diagram

    Gibbs G (1988) Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford.

    Gibbs' reflective cycle can be really useful in making you think through all the phases of an experience or activity. In our example, we missed out Gibbs’ ‘Evaluation’ phase, and have gone back and added in some thoughts about what our Health Visitor got right – clearly her first session with the family was not all bad. As a practitioner it is easy to be too conscious of the things that didn’t go well. Don’t be too hard on yourself! The Evaluation phase makes you think about the positive as well as areas for improvement.