vrijdag 30 mei 2014

Reflective practice

Teachers can learn from their own teaching experiences in order to develop their pedagogic skills by reviewing specific incidents in their professional practice and reflecting upon them in order to draw conclusions about how they might improve their own performance as teachers. This is the process known as reflective practice. Although it is closely related, in principle and purpose, to action research, and employs the same cycle of reflection-action-reflection-planning, it is for teachers a continuing, often daily, process of self-appraisal and action planning. The reflective process might be formulated in a series of questions such as the following:
  •       What incident or issue in my teaching am I most concerned about?
  •       What might I wish to change about it, and why?
  •       How might this be achieved? What theories might I draw on to inform my decision?
  •       Did it work? If so, why? If not, why not? How does this accord with current theories?
  •       If it worked, is there a general principle here that I could use again?
  •       If it did not work, what might I try next, and why?

The ability of the teacher to reflect upon their practice in order to adapt and develop it is decribed by Gregorc (1973) as the fully functioning phase of their professional development in which they have developed in which they have developed skills of self-evaluation based on self-referenced norms, and are taking responsibility for their own continuing professional development.

Teachers and particularly student teachers, often find it useful to keep a journal or daily in which to reflect critically and analytically on their teaching in order to see what they have learned from it and how they could use this to inform future planning and to contribute to their continuing professional development. The keeping of such a journal might involve daily reflections, but more usually the journal will be used to record and reflect on critical incident, which are situations or events of particular professional significance. In order to contribute effectively to a teacher’s professional development, journal entries would be expected to do more than simply describe events, and should involve some element of action planning for future practice. The keeping of a reflective journal is particularly encouraged in programmes of teacher training, and it is used extensively within the action research model of education research.