Practise reflectively

Reflective teaching practice encourages us to understand our learners and their needs and abilities.

Photo of a student reading a paper

“I am valued”

Key questions for educators to ask:

  • Do I hold any assumptions, beliefs or values which may negatively impact or create barriers for my students?
  • Do I share my own beliefs and values about learning with students?
  • What opportunities do I offer for students to share their beliefs, values and experiences about learning?
  • What types of feedback do I draw on as part of my teaching practice?

Reflective practice is often described as being as much a state of mind or attitude as it is a set of activities. It requires educators to assess themselves and their practice and as a result of this process become, “conscious agents in their own pedagogy”. (Griffiths: 2010)

For many students, tertiary education may be representative of a space in which they are unfamiliar or from which they have experienced a history of exclusion. Being aware of how we as educators may be perceived by students can help us to think about ways to minimise those barriers. (Griffiths: 2010)

Effective teachers are open to, and confront their own views and recognise any assumptions, biases or stereotypes they may hold. They are ‘transparent’ in their beliefs, values and perspectives about teaching and how they see their role in the learning process, and share these with students. They are equally interested in their students’ beliefs, values and experiences.

A reflective practitioner values on-going self-reflection of their teaching practice. They participate in informal discussions with colleagues and self-reflection activities, for example journal writing and teaching portfolios. They regularly ask for informal feedback from students and take up opportunities to engage in peer observation and/or mentoring.