There’s reading, then there’s reflecting



Reflection is paramount when it comes to education. Philosophy and theory are underpinned by it. As a teacher, it is needed for: improvement, justification, worth, position and the ability to adapt. As teachers we become part of the GTCS, it is the body we must adhere to and in the Standards for Registration section 3.4 they state that student teachers must, “reflect and engage in self evaluation using the relevant professional standard.” If, as a student I can grasp reflection and utilise this appropriately I feel I will become a better teacher.

It is however, not sufficient to reflect only from a personal viewpoint or to make assumptions about outcomes. It is so easy to over personalise reflective writing, this must be avoided with the input of other sources and the ability to step back from a situation.  If something goes awry it is through reflection it can be avoided again. How did it impact upon others? What would others do differently? Are there theories to support or refute my findings? Reflection leads to adaptation and change and without that we would become stagnant. Honesty and a willingness to step out-with our own values and views is necessary for effective reflection. Education must flow with the times and be a reflection, in itself, of the world we exist within.

To encourage reflective thought in children it is best to practice reflectively. The philosopher Maxine Greene stated “to present oneself as actively engaged in critical thinking… one cannot accept any “ready-made standardized scheme” at face value.” This idea of questioning and being seen to adopt an open standpoint is vital. As a teacher I need to evolve and reflect just as each and every student must. The philosopher goes on to discuss the concept of concious engagement with inquiry. Reflection is about being pro-active and it always leads to something more. Being patient enough to follow up and act upon outcomes, then lead onto action.

In short, reflection is the process of improvement. This blog has helped me tremendously with my reflective approach towards my own education. I can only imagine how reflection will impact my teaching.


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