Reflective Practice

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Reflective practice is key to the nature of professional practice.

It is ongoing learning about your own professional practice using a process that helps you to look at what you do and review this with the aim of recognizing what is working well and where you could change or improve your practice. It also helps you explain why you are doing what you do. For tertiary educators as professionals it is all about learning how to teach and facilitate learning better.

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think about the following story from John Biggs:

“Susan and Robert… both graduated 20 years ago, and they have become teachers. Susan is a teacher with 20 years’ experience; Robert is a teacher with 1 year’s experience repeated 19 times. Susan is a reflective teacher: each significant experience, particularly of failure, has been a learning experience, so she gets better and better. Robert is a reactive teacher. He goes through the same motions year after year, and when things go wrong he tends to blame the students, or the administration, or government intervention. If it worked last year, but didn’t work this year, how can it be his teaching that is the problem?” (Biggs, 2003. p 6.)

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Consider the following:
  • Have you come across teachers like Susan and Robert?
  • If yes - what is it about that person’s teaching practice that made you link them to either Susan or Robert?

Reference: Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for Quality Learning at University (2nd Ed.) London: The Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.