Questions that prompt Reflective Practice By Mary George Cheriyan RGS Pedagogical Research Lab ERAS conference, September 2011
Reflective Practice: Definition: Habit of inquiring and investigating a problem situation in order to understand how to frame a solution (Schon, 1983, 87) Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends [that] includes a conscious and voluntary effort to establish belief upon a firm basis of evidence and rationality. (Dewey, 1933).
What are the criteria for reflection? (Carol Rodgers) • Meaning making • Deeper understanding of experience’s connection to other experiences and ideas • Happens in a community • Interaction • Inquiry within the context • Openness to understanding
What are the criteria for reflection? • Requires attitudes that value personal & intellectual growth of oneself and others • Systematic, rigorous & disciplined inquiry • Intellectualising process by *teacher*: - assessment of data within the context develops new ideas
The Moral-Ethical Dimension in Reflective Practice: Attitudes Open-mindedness: Respect for diversity Humility Hope in the learner Responsibility Considers consequences Makes meaning of experiences for teacher & learner Whole-heartedness/ Engagement Curiosity about subject and impact of teaching on learning Teaching as an artistry Refining & honing Discipline
Data gathering Teachers Number: 15 from 1 school Question posed: What are the questions that are typically asked or that you expect to be asked, by your Head(s), that prompt reflection of your practice in the classroom?
Data gathering Heads Number: 28 from 2 schools Question posed: What are the questions that you typically ask your teachers to get them to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice?
Teachers’ responses: sample Differentiation: Did I cater to majority of my students’ learning styles? Did I use different teaching strategies to cater to different learners’ needs? How do I cater to the heterogeneity of students in the classroom in terms of their differing levels of interest, readiness and ability? Engagement Did the materials and activities keep the students engaged? Which parts of the lesson did the students seem to enjoy most? And least? Did I provide opportunities for all the students to participate? Application of learning How do I ensure that for those who are engaged in the learning, the ideas and concepts that they learn do not remain inert? Can they apply the new information, question the ideas or make new meaning that is relevant to their own experience?
The Heads: a sample Differentiation Does your lesson cater to the different types of learners? If it is not possible to cater to all, how do you plan to support those who are left out? Strategies What kinds of questions have the greatest potential for scaffolding student thinking to higher cognitive levels ? How do you ensure that all your students are engaged in an inquiry lesson?
Application of learning How do you ensure that the lesson/module goes beyond the text? In other words, have you helped them make that connection to the real world, to their world and experience? Inquiry How can you encourage your students' quest for knowledge and curiosity about the world? Attainment of learner outcomes How do you know if your students have learnt? How do you know if your lesson objectives have been met?
General Improvement Which part of your lesson you like most/you are most satisfied. Why? If you were to conduct the lesson in the same class again, would you like to make adjustment/changes in your strategies? Why?
Is systematic inquiry essential? Yes: • Data enables shift from a reactive response-no assessment- to reflective response- careful assessment of thought • Research enables systematic enquiry (to be ) made public (Stenhouse, 1998) • Without it, there is ‘hegemony of habit’ (Rudduck)
Is systematic inquiry essential? Maybe; Maybe not. ..being able to think (reflectively) is not just a discrete skill, it is an active demonstration of a mind that can stand enough apart from its own opinions, values, rules and definitions to avoid being completely identified with them. It is able to keep from feeling that the whole self has been violated when its opinions, values, rules or definitions are challenged. Kegan (1994)