• Feature,  For Students,  For Teachers,  Philosophy & Science of Learning,  Tips

    Reflection, Teaching Practice and Learning from Experience

    Teaching practice or placement is one of the hallmarks of initial teacher education. As with many professions, the novice teacher is expected to learn through experience in an authentic setting. Student teachers are often required to write reflections on they have learned in placement. Many struggle with the task – wondering what actually constitutes reflective writing and why there is so much emphasis on the process of reflection. Many look to scholarship to provide answers and works by Dewey (1933, How We Think), Schön (1992, The Reflective Practitioner), Boud et al (1985, Reflection: Turning Experience Into Learning), Mezirow, (1990, Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood), Brookfield (2005, The Power of Critical…

  • For Teachers,  Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Reflection and Practice

    What is reflection? Adult educators like to use the term “reflection”. In class you are likely to be invited to “reflect on your own experiences” or, when tasked with an assignment, you are just as likely to be invited to reflect as discuss, debate, argue or critique. I admit that I also like the term and find myself encouraging others and often myself, to reflect on a particular issue or problem. What does it mean to reflect? And how does reflection differ from “thinking about”, “recalling” or just simply “lulling over” a situation? Useful insight comes from the work of Donald Schön (best known for his book The Reflective Practitioner)…