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Reflective Teaching

What is it?

Reflective teaching describes a continual process whereby educators examine their own values and beliefs about teaching and learning and consider how these align with their classroom practices before, during, and after a course is implemented. This process involves thinking critically about one’s own practice and analyzing evidence of effective teaching. These data may include measures of self-assessment, classroom observations, student evaluations, and scores on learning assessments (exams, board scores, quizzes, etc.) and include perspectives from multiple vantage points. 


Engaging in reflective teaching is one way that educators can work to continually develop their skills, understand themselves and their teaching philosophy, and employ evidence-based student-centered practices. 


                       Cycle of Reflective Teaching: The Cycle starts with self-reflection (what do I do now? Why do I do it?), moves in to an opportunity to seek and leverage feedback (Is what I'm doing working? What is the student experience?) and lastly moving from those data and thinking about action planning (What do I want to continue? What do I want to change?)

Examples and Implementation

Ideas for reflective teaching practices from TeachThought:

  • Record yourself teaching then watch the video and notice what you observe
  • Share the recording with a colleague and solicit their feedback or ask them to sit-in on your class
  • Ask your students for feedback and input
  • Ask yourself, “how did it go, how do I know?”
  • Keep a teaching journal
  • Be honest with yourself - seek to grow not to criticize yourself
  • Look for what is working and where there are opportunities
  • Collect diverse metrics (helps to not just look at the things you like)