Reflective Practice and Self-Evaluation in Learning Positive Guidance: Experiences of Early Childhood Practicum Students

Laura Piazza, Rachel Saunders, Sydnye Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
339 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the role of self-reflection and self-evaluation in early childhood practicum students' development of positive guidance skills with children. We examine how helpful students find self-reflection and self-evaluation exercises and how their thoroughness of reflection relates to their progress in acquiring positive guidance skills. Self-reflection also plays a role in students' attitudes towards positive guidance and their confidence in using guidance skills. This paper explores the extent to which reflection and evaluation affect the attitudes and confidence of future early childhood educators, which could have an impact on the children and families they work with. Participants were 63 university students (60 female and 3 male) in their junior or senior years in a Human Development and Family Sciences undergraduate program at a university in the southern region of the United States. They were enrolled in an undergraduate class focused on learning 'positive guidance' interaction skills and classroom management with young children. Students generally found the self-ratings and goal setting helpful in learning guidance skills. We did not find that thoroughness of self-reflection was related to guidance skills or amount of improvement. There were three groups of students in regards to self-evaluation and supervisor evaluation: those who initially overinflate their abilities, those who initially underinflate their abilities, and those who evaluate themselves consistently.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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