I am currently pursuing a graduate degree on an online university. A part of the course work is to get involved in a blog and share information on improving student's learning.
During the course, one of the topics that stood out for me is "Reflective Processes".
How many of us as educators engage in the process. It is not just stating at the end of a lesson plan that 95% of the students understood the lesson.
I will share an excerpt from a discussion and hope that you may benefit from it. As well as it improves student learning in your classroom.
'All teachers, I believe engage in reflective practices. The difference really lies in the frequency and dept of the process. Kottler, Zehm, Kottler (2005) cited that “teachers seldom take care” to engage in this “important practice” (Tomlinson 2003). Quickly analyzing what the topic should entail, I though the practices constituted the evaluation process that should take place at the end of the lesson. Sure enough, I could not be further from the truth. Reflection is an on going “process” (Kottler, Zehm, Kottler 2005) and not a destination. A philosophical definition would be:
Being reflective essentially means being an independent thinker. It means knowing how to reason, to think for yourself, to combine intuition and logic in the process of solving problems. It means being introspective about phenomena that take place both within your internal world and the world around you. (Kottler, Zehm, Kottler, 2005, p. 136).
The idea, concept and validity opened my eyes. A deeper understanding brought forth notion of which I will share in the proceeding paragraphs of the discussion.
The concepts that I found most interesting are that reflective practices encourage educators to be thinkers (Kottler, Zehm, Kottler, 2005) and “There is no formula to success” (Tomlinson 2003). It is explosive to foster the thought that it is better to think out of the box, and making the lesson realistic to students. If teacher practice to think critically, automatically the students develop the same attitude toward the subject. Accepting the teaching objective as it is “not an option”, but to modify it to suit the situation in the classroom.'
Kottler, J.A., Zehm, S. J., & Kottler, E (2005). On being a teacher: The Human dimension. Thousand Oakes, CA: Corwin Press.
Tomlinson, C. A. (2003). The response of reflection. ASCD Express. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol1/121-tomlinson.aspx
I hope that your appetite got wet. Find out some more about the practices.
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