Monday, December 14, 2009

Reflective Practice

I’m working my way through “facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education

and I’m still finding it hard to distinguish “reflective practice” from “think about what you are doing.” 

Often in teaching mathematics I encounter students who are looking for a deeper understanding of some method which you have just run through with them. They have the sense that there is some great mystery of mysteries out there and when you say that that’s all there is to it, there is a palpable sense of let down and disappointment. For some there is a very real sense that they haven’t got it and this can be a barrier to their further progress.

I find I have this same uncomfortable feeling when it comes to reflective practice.  I plan before I go into a class and work out what I’m going to do with a class that day.  I do it and I will consider afterwards what worked out and what did not go over so well.  This helps me decide what I’m going to do next time around. 


Is this reflective practice?  Is this going to have a transformative effect on my teaching and education?  When I’m considering what my students might be thinking about, and then thinking further about what my students might be thinking that I’m thinking about them, and considering how their modeling of my modeling of their thinking about my actions in trying to modify their thinking about the subject about which I’ trying to convey my thoughts to them....  I think this is definitely reflective practice but I’m not convinced that the time I spend on this couldn’t be better spent doing corrections.


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