I what is reflective teaching
One of the best things about life is that we never have to stop learning. There are always new skills to learn and techniques for us to adopt. Learning is the centre of the teaching enterprise, it’s only logical that teachers themselves should never stop learning. That’s why “Teachers are the busiest professionals on Earth”. All the time we try to undergo a careful analysis of our teaching career to better understand it. This is called Reflective teaching which is a part of teacher’s toolkit of 21st century skill. As teachers, it isn’t enough for us to simply plan a lesson using the latest technologies and the newest approaches to present it. We must reflect upon how the lesson went, before, while after it is taught. Reflective teaching is a personal tool that teachers can use to observe and evaluate the way they behave in their classroom.
Reflection should be a basic component of teacher development because pre-service and in-service teachers are called to evaluate and rearrange their teaching in order to optimize the teaching-learning process. A reflective teacher is expected to go beyond the practice of reciting textbooks, giving tests, following imposed syllabi, and taking for granted that everything is going well. Teachers are supposed to become critical of their own practices in order to make their students’ learning experience something dynamic, valuable and meaningful for their lives. In spite of the importance that reflective teaching involves, the potential of reflection in the Colombian educational context has not been fully explored.
Reflection stars by asking questions
(Richard 1990) -Bartlett (1990) points out that becoming a reflective teacher involves moving beyond a primary concern with instructional techniques and “how to” questions and asking “what” and “why” questions that regard instructions and managerial techniques not as ends in themselves, but as part of broader educational purposes.
Asking “what and why” questions give us a certain power over our teaching. We could claim that the degree of autonomy and responsibility we have in our work as teachers is determined by the level of control we can exercise over our actions. In reflecting on the above kind of questions, we begin to exercise control and open up the possibility of transforming our everyday classroom life. (Bartlett, 1990. 267)
Some points of consideration in the reflection process might be analyzing what is currently being done, think over why it’s being done and how well students are learning and how the practice might be improved or changed for better learning outcomes.
Accordingly, reflective teaching is about more than just summarizing what happened in the classroom. It requires patience, and careful observation of the entire lesson’s experience. It is a systemic approach to looking at what happened. It is rather a process of self-observation and
self-evaluation where teachers think over their teaching practices.
Within the same context and according to Jack Richards he admits that “reflection or critical reflection, refers to an activity or process in which an experience is recalled, considered, and evaluated, usually in relation to a broader purpose. It is a response to past experience and involves conscious recall and examination of the experience as a basis for evaluation and decision-making and as a source for planning and action.”