Essay on Reflective Teaching: Self-directed Professional Development

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There is an over simplified generalisation often bandied about in Westernised countries that belittles the job of teachers. The phrase goes along the lines of “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” While the argument against this statement could fill pages the reality is that teaching is by far one of the most demanding but fulfilling jobs in the world. Teaching may be a job that requires a university degree and some on the job training; however effective teaching is a continual process of reflections, questions and decisions. This essay will examine in depth the cyclic process of effective teachers’ reflections, questions and decisions. Effective teachers will reflect on both their own knowledge and critically evaluate their work;…show more content…
Effective teachers recognise the importance of reflective practice. A teacher engages in reflective practice by “conducting a critical self-examination of one’s teaching” (Clarke as cited by Eggen & Kauchak, 2010. p. 5). Brookfield (as cited in Marsh, 2010) calls self-reflection a “crucial habit” (p. 102). Whitton, Barker, Nosworthy, Sinclair & Nanlohy (2010) state that reflections are an “integral part” of a being a teacher, that require a “review of your day and the lesson’s successes or failures” (pg. 59). This involves a willingness to examine actions taken to determine whether the teaching had a desired outcome of engaged and increased learning for students (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). While acknowledging that reflecting on the days activities as important is beneficial the challenge is to translate these reflections into positive actions. This is accomplished by finding areas where the teaching method can be altered to achieve a more positive outcome while taking into account other social factors that may be hindering a students’ progress. Other factors may include baggage from other areas of life such as difficulties at home or troubles with peers. Acknowledging this Bennett (1994) notes that “as society becomes more complex, a corresponding complexity for teachers in the classroom continues to emerge” (p.187). An effective teacher reflects on and determines how accommodate these needs (Marsh, 2010). Further reflection
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