In 1983 Schon came up with the theory of reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action. Reflection-on-action refers to reflecting on something once you’ve come away from that situation however reflecting in-action refers to being in practice and reflecting there and then. I think these two ways of reflecting are important to recognise and you don’t always have to reflect on the spot even though sometimes this it is helpful to make these decisions and recognise what is happening at the time of a situation. Dewey was one of the first who identified reflection as a specialised form of thinking.
Reflecting practice is all about keeping up to date with changes and continuing to learn and adapt to different scenarios. It is also about having the right attitude to this in many ways. For example, being receptive to constructive criticism, having sound judgment and following rules and regulations. This is important to recognise and keep in mind especially as I am about to be going on placement and will require a lot of constructive criticism to improve. I also like knowing the fact that in the teaching career professionals are always learning and no matter how much experience or how high up in the career people go there will always be things to learn and all colleagues get to share this experience. This gives us all a common ground and opens discussions about current affairs which everyone can contribute to, which will benefit what goes on in the classroom.
The self-evaluation process is also important as it gives people the opportunity to ask themselves what worked and what didn’t and why. This gives time to take a step back and really look at certain teaching methods that will be useful again and things that won’t be done again. This is time to gather thoughts and make sense of the day or week which is being evaluated. It’s about thinking of the next steps and acknowledging the fact that it’s about the practice and not the children’s performance. I think that is really important because the children can’t control their learning and if they need extra time or support it is the teacher that has to think about what they can do about that rather than what the children need to do.
We looked at the definition of health and came up with the fact that it includes physical, mental and social wellbeing. This led us to think about the definition of wellbeing which is about individual vitality, meaningful activities, and resilience. Teaching these things allows children to recognise what they need to do to be able to lead a healthy lifestyle. To go into a deeper discussion about how to live healthily we need to look at the food which we eat, and which people give their children to eat, to see if what we think is good for us is just advertisement or if it’s the truth.
Before the lecture, we were asked to watch John Cornochan’s video called sugar rush. Which explored this in more detail and exposed parents to the ingredients that are in the foods which are given to young people. Packaging can be misleading when it tells you a product is fat-free however it is full of sugar or hidden sugars. Parents and children need to be educated on what to look for on the ingredients list of foods and take a bit more time and consideration before buying unhealthy foods. Planning for choices and change gives children the ability and skills to make decisions and personally plan what they might eat or what physical activities they need to do to live healthily.
In the lecture, I appreciated, straight away, the helpful tip that was given about how to make sure all pupils would have to work together and share answers. This was done by making everyone sit together, rather than being more spread out, and everyone was giving a number and therefore might be chosen to give an answer, rather than having volunteers. This also gave me the opportunity to sit with people that I might have never spoken to before therefore, I was able to hear different points of view and be involved in more of a discussion. This also kept us all on task as we knew that there was a chance we might be asked to give an answer.
Understanding why maths is so important was interesting, however, something that really stuck with me was the attitude to maths and that teachers need to promote the enthusiasm and joy in this subject. Maths can be expressed in different ways and if the teacher has a negative attitude towards it and portrays this to the pupils they most likely won’t want to participate and it will instill a negative attitude, surrounding maths, within them. If maths can be taught in a more engaging way and all the answers can be explored through different ways of thinking, children might be more open to enjoying maths and wanting to be good at it.
Parents opinions on maths were also mentioned. Sometimes if parents aren’t good a maths they will give up on trying to help their children and agree that maths is just something they’re not good at and never will be. This gives the impression that it’s okay not to be good at maths but as it was mentioned in the lecture understanding maths and having knowledge of numbers is just as important as being able to read and write.
There was also a discussion about myths and anxieties to do with maths, such as “you either have it or you don’t”, “you don’t need maths in later life” and even “women can’t do maths”. These need to be challenged because we can’t accept that one of the most universal languages is so pointless and can’t be achieved through practice and hard working. Children need to know that they can achieve in maths and that getting questions wrong does not mean that they are incapable it means that they can learn and grow and explore what went wrong to better their understanding.