Reflective Practice

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”

—John Dewey

The ultimate goal of self-reflection is to improve the way you teach. Through the findings you gather, you may gain the insight you need to take your instruction to the proverbial next level, or you may find that you’re already doing a stellar job. In either case, self-reflection is a technique that can gauge your standing honestly and you should strive to implement it throughout the year. By the time the next new class rolls around, you’ll have a much better wider toolkit to pull from when it’s time to teach that lesson once again.


Teaching Strategies: The Value of Self-Reflection By Janelle Cox

Traditionally, teaching has been a very lonely profession. Someone once described schools as collections of highly educated professionals linked by a common parking lot. Teachers commonly have very little contact with other adults in the course of the school day and the resulting isolation makes it extremely difficult for teachers to learn about what they actually do in their classrooms when they teach. ...Reflective teaching is the practice of colleagues joining together to observe and analyze the consequences for student learning of different teaching behaviors and materials in order to gain insights that will result in the continuous evaluation and modification of pedagogy.


Chapter 11: Professional Development and Reflective Practice By William Powell
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Dewey identified three attributes of reflective individuals, which are still important for teachers today: open-mindedness, responsibility, and wholeheartedness. Open-mindedness is a desire to listen to more than one side of an issue and to give attention to alternative views. Responsibility involves careful consideration of the consequences to which an action leads. Wholeheartedness implies that teachers can overcome fears and uncertainties to critically evaluate their practice in order to make meaningful change.


Reflective Practice in the Professional Development of Teachers of Adult English Language Learners by Thomas S. C. Farrell, Brock University, Ontario, Canada

How do you engage in reflective practice?

What do you learn?

Do you share what you learn?

Does what you learn have an impact upon your practice?

What are the challenges?

What educator competencies do you need to develop to engage in reflective practice?