Teachers learn best by applying clear standards of practice and by engaging in active learning.

Educational psychologist Lee Shulman (2004) illustrated the complexity of teaching by comparing the fields of teaching and medicine. He noted that teachers have classrooms of 25–35 students, whereas doctors treat only a single patient at a time. Even when working with a reading group of 6–8 students, teachers are overseeing the decoding skills, comprehension, word attack, performance, and engagement of those students while simultaneously keeping tabs on the learning of the other two dozen students in the room.

How often do you find yourself replaying in your head the events of the day or an incident in your life? Whether it is going through a conversation that happened to digest what has been said, thinking about sequences of events that led to a certain conclusion, or thinking about how you felt or reacted at a point in time. At this level, we are quite used to the idea of reflecting on our own actions.

Reflective practice is a term strongly associated with learning in professional contexts such as teaching, nursing or social work and can be thought of in a number of ways. It can be described as a learning tool, something that is going to help you to synthesise, explain, make sense of and ultimately learn from, your experiences which subsequently improves your teaching abilities.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the role of reflective practice in ITE (Initial Teacher Education)
  • recognise some models of reflective practice
  • identify the difference between reflection, analysis and description
  • understand the difficulties in ensuring that reflection leads to learning and begin to develop some strategies to ensure reflection supports development.

Course Curriculum

Section 1: Learning To Teach By Becoming A Reflective Practitioner
Introduction 00:05:00
Section 2: Difficulties With Learning To Teach
Complexities Of Workplace Learning 00:05:00
Professional Judgement And Practice Wisdom 00:05:00
Section 3: Critical Analysis As A Learning Technique
What Is Critical Analysis? 00:07:00
Features Of Critical Analysis 00:10:00
Section 4: Tools For Reflection
Transformational Learning 00:05:00
QUESTION 1 00:10:00

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