Reflections on Reflection

Photo by Wouter de Jong 

 

One of Module 2’s readings, Schon (1991) highlighted the importance of ‘reflection in practice.’ The powerful analogy of a baseball pitcher adjusting his tactics while in the game (p. 54), allowed me to reflect on how I adapt my lessons or actions while in the lesson.

One such example occurs when I’m delivering content. Are the students’ eyes glazing over? How long have I been speaking? Do I need to give them a break? Should I emphasise this more? By thinking about these factors (while actively teaching), I’m able to make the alterations necessary to be more effective when delivering content. Schon (1991) asserts that this reflection in action process “is central to the “art” by which practitioners sometimes deal well with situations of uncertainty, instability, uniqueness, and value conflict”(p.50). These mid-lesson alterations may help to improve the overall quality of the learning experience.

 

Reflection on learning, which Naylor and Bull (2000) simplify and define as “evaluation and learning after the actions have taken place”(p.57-58) is also equally important. One of my previous blog posts highlights a moment where I really began to adopt this practice in a more systematic way. As described in the post, Spillane “reinforced the importance of reflective time. He said ‘a high performing person’s mind grabs all the information it can and makes personal sense of it’ ” (Grant, 2015, para 4). This became the impetus for me implementing a ‘meeting with myself’ (as explained by Spillane) at the end of every teaching day to quickly document what worked well, the even better ifs and broader thoughts. This has helped me to not only keep a record of my successes but help me articulate problem issues so that I can systematically work towards fixing them.    

 

Without reflection in or on learning, little progress could be made in terms of professional development.

 

References

 

Grant, J. (2015). Off the Beaten Track [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/iteachilearn/2015/05/08/off-the-beaten-track/  

 

Nayler, J., & Bull, G. (2000). Teachers are supposed to teach not learn : exploring the need to support teachers’ professional growth. Change : Transformations in Education, 3(2), 53–65.

 

Schön, D. A. (1991). From technical rationality to reflection-in-action. In The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action (pp. 21-69). Aldershot : Ashgate Arena.

 

2 Comments on Reflections on Reflection

  1. Tori
    January 5, 2018 at 2:02 am (2 weeks ago)

    Hi, the meeting with self at the end of the day to critically reflect on and assess on the successes and areas for further development resonated with me as this aligns with my practice also. Is this approach something you have shared and/or modelled to colleagues as a means of self driven professional development?

    Reply
  2. jordantgrant@gmail.com
    January 5, 2018 at 2:35 am (2 weeks ago)

    Hi Tori,

    Thanks for your comment.

    To be honest, I haven’t really shared this tip with many colleagues. I’m conscious of putting more things on peoples to do lists so I’ve held onto my reservations about suggesting it.

    Perhaps if I can share it in a way that highlights the inherent benefits while presenting it in a take it or leave it fashion, more would be willing to give it a try.

    Reply

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