Reflection On Student Learning And Effective Teaching

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What is teacher reflection? How do the three different types of reflection (reflection in-action, on-action and for-action) help the teacher support student learning? Compare and contrast their strengths and limitations focussing on how evidence is used within each type of reflection. Reflective practice is a means of actively observing, analysing and evaluating our teaching practices for subsequent action in order to discover which methods or strategies are successful in encouraging student learning and effective teaching. It is an individual and collaborative process encompassing ‘all time designations, past, present, and future simultaneously’ as is discussed by Schon in Killion and Todnem (1991, p15). Reflection is a ‘form of enquiry through which teachers can question their actions, the contexts in which they teach, and all the influences on those actions and contexts’ as Killen discusses (2007, p92). The reflective practice process assists in revealing our limitations, whether these be skill or knowledge based, resulting from a lack of experience or through the misuse of various teaching techniques, however, reflection alone does not facilitate improvement. Dewey believes the need for reflection arises from ‘a problematic or an indeterminate situation’, ‘troublesome event or experience’ or an ‘unsettling situation that cannot be resolved using standard operating procedures’ which is ‘prompted by a sense of uncertainty or unease’ (Kottkamp & Osterman, 1993, p3).
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