Sunday, 20 July 2014

On reflective practice: what do novice teachers most need to know?

Over the last few weeks I've been engaged in researching reflection by trainee language teachers, working in close collaboration with the short courses unit within Warwick University's Centre for Applied Linguistics and a group of young trainees from Japan.

The results of this research will form the substance of my MA dissertation, soon to be finished…but you can view the slides from a presentation I gave to trainee teachers at the start of the project below:

As a teacher - and, for the brief duration of this research project, a teacher trainer - I'm pretty convinced reflection has a vital role to play in our professional practice as educators.

As regards the above slides, I've since changed my views very slightly on Donald Schön's work, as I'm not altogether sure "reflection-in-action" and "reflection-on-action" are qualitatively different. However, the talk did seem to get the research project under way very well, and the audience appeared responsive both during class and subsequently, online. It seems like a good idea to get trainees thinking seriously about the mechanics of what goes on during lessons, and what this might look like to observers besides the teacher himself/herself.

So how about you? Did reflective practice get talked about much while you were training to be a teacher? How does it play a part in your current practice? I'd be interested to hear from you.

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