Critical Reflection as a Key Element of Developing as an Educator

By August 30, 2018Parkland Players

Back to School is right around the corner, and if you are an educator like us at Parkland Players, right now you are spending a lot of time planning for the upcoming school year. You are thinking about what activities to do, what lessons to plan, what goals you have for yourself and your student.

Sometimes, when making these kinds of plans for the future, it can be beneficial to look backwards and reflect on what has worked (or not worked) for you and your class in the past.

As the quote shown above suggests, British Columbia’s Early Learning Framework emphasizes the role of reflection in an educator’s well-rounded practice. Reflection is also a key component of the Reggio Emilia Approach, which is a key influencing program at our centre.

So today we are sharing some suggestions with our fellow educators on how to better incorporate critical self-reflection in your own teaching and learning objectives.

One article from richmondshare.com provides a wonderful outline of the different ways in which a teacher can approach reflection. These include:

  1. Peer Observation (with colleagues)
    1. Each participant would both observe and be observed while teaching and then discuss afterwards
    2. This could involve a pre-observation conversation, an actual observation period, and then a debrief after the observation where the teaching educator shares their concerns, and the observing educator shares constructive feedback
  2. Written accounts
    1. Written accounts are emphasized in the BC ELF as a great way to reflect. The ELF suggests paying attention to the small moments where children are guiding their own education. Recording what is happening in those moments, and teasing out how to create those moments again in the future
  3. Journal Writing
    1. “The goals of journal writing are: (1) to prvide a rcord of the significant learning experience that have taken place, (2) to help the participant come into touch and keep in touch with the self-development process that is taking place for them, (3) to provice the participants with an opportunity to express, in a personal and dynamic way, their self-development, (4) to foster a creative interaction” (Rosalie Serra, source site below)

If we are truly lifelong learners, as many educators claim to be, then reflecting on the ways we continue to create the learning environment is essential for our professional growth. So for the 2018/2019 school year we are suggesting all educators take pause for a moment, and consider incorporating reflection into their practice.

Source: http://www.richmondshare.com.br/what-is-reflective-teaching-and-why-is-it-important/

Additional Source, BC Early Learning Framework: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/early-learning/teach/early-learning-framework