Reflective Teaching


What is Reflective Teaching ?

Introduction.

Reflective teaching means looking at what you do in the classroom, thinking about why you do it, and thinking about if it works – a process of self-observation and self-evaluation.

By collecting information about what goes on in our classroom, and by analysing and evaluating this information, we identify and explore our own practices and underlying beliefs.

This may then lead to changes and improvements in our teaching.

Reflective teaching involves recognising, examining, ruminating over the way an individual teaches.

As individuals possess their own background and experience, bring certain beliefs, assumptions, knowledge, attitudes and values to teaching.

It is also seen that teaching takes place in a social setting that has its own unique characteristics, opportunities and constraints. The practice of Reflective teaching explores the implications of all these complex factors with the intention of understanding and improving teaching –learning practice.

Schon (1993) suggested that reflective teaching practice is a continuous process and involves learner thoughtfully considering one’s own experience in applying knowledge to practice while being taught by professionals.

It helps the individual to develop their own personality. Gibbs (1988) reflective practice suggests that individuals develop analysis of feelings, evaluation of experience etc.

Jasper (2003) associated reflective teaching practice with lifelong learning resulting in the development of autonomous, qualified and self-directed professionals.

Engaging in reflective practice is associated with the improvement of the quality of care, stimulating personal and professional growth and closing the gap between theory and practice.

Bartlett (1990) points out that becoming a reflective teacher involves moving beyond a primary concern with instructional techniques and “how to” questions and asking “what” and “why” questions that regard instructions and managerial techniques not as ends in themselves, but as part of broader educational purposes.

Asking questions “what and why” gives certain power over individuals teaching resulting in the emergence of autonomy and responsibility in the work of teachers. In reflecting on the above kind of.

Questions, teachers begin to exercise control and open up the possibility of transforming every day classroom life.

(Lieberman & Miller, 2000) pointed out that the practice of reflective teaching, reflective inquiry, and reflection-on practice, results in gaining of  the personal and professional knowledge that is so important to being an effective teacher and in  shaping children’s learning.

Han (1995) stated that, the process element of reflection emphasises how teachers make decisions, content stresses the substance that drives the thinking and reflective inquiry may set the stage for learning how to be a good teacher, (Day, Galvez-Martin 2000) proposed reflective teaching as the act of creating a mental space in which to contemplate a question or idea, such as, “What do I know now about teaching young children?” this of repeated questioning  leads to mental transformation to a time and a situation that leads to a deeper perspective helping Students.

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The role of Reflective teaching in teacher education.

Reflective practice is used at both the pre-service and in-service levels of teaching. Coaching and peer involvement are two aspects of reflective practice seen most often at the pre-service level.

In a 1993 study of how student teachers develop the skills necessary for reflective teaching during their field experiences, Ojanen explores the role of the teacher educator as coach.

Teacher educators can most effectively coach student teachers in reflective practice by using students’ personal histories, dialogue journals, and small and large-group discussions about their experiences to help students reflect upon and improve their practices.

Kettle and Sellars (1996) studied the development of third- year teaching students. They analysed the students’ reflective writings and interviewed them extensively about their reflective practices.

They found that the use of peer reflective groups encouraged student teachers to challenge existing theories and their own preconceived views of teaching while modeling for them a collaborative style of professional development that would be useful throughout their teaching careers.

Sellars (1996) analysed the students’ reflective writings and interviewed them extensively about their reflective practices. They found that the student and teachers by practicing reflective teaching enables them to challenge existing theories and their own preconceived views of teaching resulting in professional development that would be useful throughout their teaching careers. Several research studies have proved that critical reflection upon experience continues to be an effective technique for professional development.

Freidus (1997) describes a case study of one teacher/graduate student struggling to make sense of her beliefs and practices about what constitutes good teaching. Her initial pedagogy for teaching was based on the traditions and practices of direct teaching. Her traditional socialisation into teaching made it difficult for her to understand that her views of good teaching were being challenged in her practice. After implementing reflective teaching technique in her classroom enabled her to acknowledge and validate what she was learning. The present paper work highlights the importance of practicing reflect

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