Continue reading Reflective Teaching Benefits and Interesting Theories
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If you’re looking for the benefits of reflective teaching, either you’re a self-driven teacher or an education scholar. For sure you want to become a better teacher, no matter at which stage you’re in your teaching profession. But, you can’t understand the advantages of becoming a reflective teacher, without knowing the thought behind it.            

Here are 7 benefits of being a reflective teacher and all the theories that shaped reflective teaching- old and new. Before learning the theories of reflection in teaching, let’s quickly learn what it means to be a reflective teacher.

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What is Reflective Teaching?

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Reflective teaching means thinking over your classroom experiences; analyzing your actions; considering if and how you could have done it better; and applying this knowledge to your teaching-learning process.

Reflective thinking in education is the process of testing your biases and assumptions and checking if they’re true in the present teaching scenarios.

When you check your assumptions in teaching and remove them, you create better learning experiences for your students. (Brookfield, 2017).

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What are the key philosophies behind Reflective Practice?

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Reflective teaching isn’t a newfound concept. Reflective thinking and reflective practices have been applied to teaching for long.

Early theories on Reflective Practice

John Dewey (Educational Reformer) first brought to light reflective thinking.

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“It has the potential to enable teachers to direct their activities with foresight and to plan according to ends-in-view”
(Dewey, 1933, ‘How We Think’).

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Reflective Teaching Theories in Later Years

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Learning Cycle by David Kolb

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“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”
(Kolb, 1984)

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Brookfield’s Model of Critical Reflection in Teaching

Stephen Brookfield (PhD) presented four lenses for critical reflection (1998).

Reflect on your teaching-learning situations through these lenses-

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Latest Theory on Reflective Practice

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Iceberg of Reflection by Quang Nhat Nguyen (2022)

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7 Benefits of being a Reflective Teacher

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Becoming a reflective teacher is beneficial for you and your students. Read on the advantages of becoming a reflective teacher.

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You create a conducive learning environment

Students love a student-centered environment where they’re active doers, not passive listeners.

Reflective teaching helps you create inclusive learning experiences. When you understand your students, their interests and needs, you’re able to engage them. You create a healthy rapport through reflective practice as a teacher.

Suppose you have hearing-impaired learners in your class. You can bring a sign-language interpreter to show a demonstration.

Reflective practice in teaching also promotes healthy teamwork and peer relationships.

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Your growth and learning

Reflective thinking in teaching removes boredom and stagnation. By experimenting with modern teaching styles, modern teaching methodologies, learning activities, and the latest EdTech tools, you can make old concepts seem exciting.

You enjoy teaching and are open to challenges, being a reflective teacher.

When you self-evaluate and formulate new teaching strategies, you grow and become a better teacher (Shandomo, PhD).

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Your professional development

When you self-evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, you become an effective teacher (Ferraro, 2000).

You become a pro at classroom management through a reflective approach in teaching and analyzing your classroom situations and reactions. Self-knowledge and decision-making ability are advantages of self-reflection in teaching.

Through reflective teaching, you become adaptable to change. Research also supports reflective teaching leads to teacher development.

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You bring innovation to teaching

When The Winds Of Change Blow, Some People Build Walls, Others Build Windmills – Chinese Proverb

Remember how creative you were during covid? Teachers found innovative ideas to take virtual classes, conduct online PTMs and competitions. Some teachers created online teaching resources like educational YouTube videos.

A major benefit of Reflective teaching is that it helps you find unique solutions for difficult classroom situations.

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Better mental and emotional health

Headaches and burnouts are a part of your day. 73% of teachers feel stressed in their jobs and 28% report symptoms of depression (RAND report, 2022).

Reflective teaching improves teacher wellbeing. Practicing reflection in teaching reduces workplace stress, develops a positive mindset, and stronger relationships with family (Brunzell, T., Waters, L., & Stokes, H., 2021).

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More honesty and integrity towards teaching

Not every teacher enters the teaching profession to change the world. Some do B.Ed. thinking it’s an easy career.

By practicing reflective teaching and thinking over your mistakes, you become a morally righteous teacher. You become true to yourself and your students when you realize your value in their lives.

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Enhanced problem-solving skills

Reflective teachers find creative solutions to classroom problems because they know their capabilities. They also know their students’ needs and interests.

Being a Reflective Teacher, you can manage well with limited resources at school.

Limited space? Seating arrangements in circles.

Limited financial aid? Buying one pack of Uno cards and practicing mathematical operations.

Asking critically reflective questions develop inquiry skills in teachers, as per a 2013 study.

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Conclusion

Reflecting on your actions is a good habit. Practicing reflection in teaching is useful for teachers’ personal and professional growth. This article explained how reflective teaching makes you an innovative, thoughtful, and positive teacher. It expands your horizon to knowledge and self-awareness. Having a reflective approach in teaching helps you adapt to change and take informed decisions at school. You also studied multiple reflective thinking models and theories behind the concept of reflective teaching.  Now, compare your previous and present teaching habits. Have they changed? Write down your thoughts and learnings.


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