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Are you a teacher (or soon-to-be one), here to learn the ins and outs of Reflective Teaching?

Well, you’ve been practicing it already. 65% of teachers practice reflective teaching (National Assessment Survey, 2021)

Remember the first time you entered a classroom during teaching practice? There was indiscipline and chaos. You were disappointed. You even thought you were not a good teacher.

But today, you’re a confident teacher. The improvement in your teaching style came from practice and learning from your mistakes- Reflective Teaching.

Read this complete guide on the meaning of Reflective Teaching, why it’s important, and ways to apply reflective teaching approach to your teaching profession.


What is Reflective Teaching Practice?



Reflective practice is the process of looking back at what, why, and how you took an action and learning through your experience. Applying reflective practice in your teaching profession means reflecting on a lesson you taught to improve your teaching process and student-learning outcomes.

Reflective practice is learning through and from experience towards gaining new insights of self and practice, as described by Linda Finlay (PhD) at the Open University.

Think of the time when:

  1. You successfully deliver a planned lesson.
  2. Your students can’t answer questions during recapitulation.
  3. Your students underperform in assessment.

Don’t you think what went right, or wrong?

When you critically examine your lesson delivery, classroom practices, teaching methodologies, and student performance, you reflect on your teaching.


Characteristics of Reflective Teaching:


These reflective teaching cycles will give you a deeper insight into the concept of reflective practice in teaching.

Reflective Teaching Cycle by Learning Researcher, Graham Gibbs (1988):



Check out another model to understand the concept of reflective teaching.

Reflective Practice Model by Donald Schon (1983):



Features and Objectives of Reflective Teaching



What are the steps in reflective teaching?



What is the importance of Reflective Practice in Teaching?



Reflecting on what and how you teach leads to professional development. Critical self-evaluation promotes growth and learning, as per a 2014 study at The Harvard Business School. You’re able to tackle a classroom problem by changing your teaching style/strategy.

Remember when you faced a badly behaved class? You learned classroom management tactics.

The importance of Reflective teaching practice is that it positively impacts you, students, parents, school, and the whole education system.

Reflective teaching is an in-depth process of collecting student and teacher feedback; recording it in journals/diaries; analyzing it, drawing conclusions about your positives and negatives; and changing your plans of action. Teachers become self-aware through Reflective Teaching. They gain control of their feelings and external factors. They also create a healthy rapport with students and peer teachers.

When you ask, ‘why and how’ and tweak your teaching practices, you create better learning experiences (Bartlett, 1990).


What are some effective reflective teaching strategies?


Reflect on your teaching by directly taking feedback from students through questionnaires and discussions.

Through peers’ points of view-
Discuss classroom problems with colleagues. Take their advice and feedback. You’ll find unique solutions through a reflective approach in teaching.

Through personal experiences-
You know your strengths and weaknesses better than others. Writing teacher’s diary is an excellent strategy to practice reflective teaching.

Through literature and research-
Read teaching-learning books and journals where teachers share classroom observations and learnings. Read teacher blogs and listen to teacher podcasts for reflective teaching.

Examples of Reflective Practice in Teaching:

Common reflective teaching examples for teachers:



What is the effect of Reflective Teaching at school?


Reflective teaching refines teaching skills and students’ performance. Research has also proven this.

Advantages of practicing reflective teaching in school

Reflective teaching creates a conducive learning environment and brings innovation at school. Reflective practices help teachers work confidently.

In the words of Tony Ghaye (PhD., Expert in Reflective Practices), it gives teachers “courage to work competently and ethically at the edge of order and chaos…”

You can handle personal and professional problems by-
Finding room for improvement in your teaching; taking advice from other teachers; and maintaining positive mental health.

Disadvantages of practicing reflective teaching in school

Reflective teaching is time-consuming and teachers are mostly short of time.

It can also become a negative process. Focusing on your faults is demotivating.

Reflective practices can be biased. If a student doesn’t like your subject, they’ll have negative feedback for you. Teacher politics also affect peer reviews.

But the pros of reflective teaching weigh more than their cons.

You can do on-the-spot reflection. Also, you can use intuition to judge if the feedback is constructive or partial.




Reflective Teaching improves the teaching-learning outcomes for teachers and students.

You’ve learned-
How important it is to reflect on your classroom experiences.
How to analyze your strengths and weaknesses.
The advantages and disadvantages of reflective teaching.
And the effective strategies to practice Reflective Teaching.

If you’ve never reflected on your teaching, it’s time to do it. Think over your actions, talk with your students and colleagues, and read teacher journals. Become a better teacher by practicing Reflective Teaching.

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