Reflective teaching is a teaching technique which involves teaching through reflection techniques. Educators use these techniques to analyze and deliver the information to their students and generate feedback in the process. Reflective teaching or learning involves self-examination of one’s beliefs about teaching, strengths and weaknesses and understanding how they align with the actual classroom environment before, during and after a lesson is taught. Reflective thinking helps the educators and students alike by leading them to think critically about the effectiveness of their teaching and learning methods.
Over the last few years, the field of education has witnessed various innovations as our ways of teaching and learning have evolved greatly. Schools by and large, have adopted new and effective teaching and management tools such as ERP systems (ERP full form: Enterprise Resource planning), smart classes, eLearning portals and LMS advantages of which are multifold. For one, these innovative teaching tools are more effective in achieving their intended outcome. Moreover, these teaching tools make the life of educators as well as the students simpler than ever before. Reflective teaching is one such innovative pedagogical strategy which not only benefits the learners but the educators as well. Here are the top benefits of employing a reflective teaching strategy in the classroom….
Advantages of Reflective Learning for Students:
Enhances Student Engagement
Students dread a dull and unhappening classroom environment, much more than educators want to believe. In case students feel that the lesson just isn’t engaging enough, students have the option to communicate it to their teachers by providing productive feedback. Reflective learning allows students to express their opinions and ideas to the educators through a feedback loop. By providing important feedback, students feel a sense of ownership and responsibility towards their own learning. This contributes towards making the learning environment engaging for the students.
Develops Critical Thinking-
Reflective learning helps the students in developing their critical thinking skills and also makes them better at solving problems and facing challenges. While learning a new concept or lesson, students are bound to get stuck at various stages. Using reflective learning will enhance their problem-solving skills by stimulating their analytical and cognitive thinking skills. When faced with a problem related to the course content, the students can formulate and take note of the problem and then look for creative solutions to the problem.
Improves Student Motivation and Performance-
Reflective learning practices help in keeping the students in the class motivated by encouraging them to overcome any challenges they face with their studies. Various researches show that reflection can have significant effects on the level of motivation and performance of individuals. Moreover, when students learn via reflective practices, they tend to identify and analyze their weaknesses and shortcomings in relative detail and will work towards improving their performance by getting rid of their weaknesses.
Advantages of Reflective Learning for Educators:
Reflective teaching can be a tool for great introspection and improvement for the educators as well. By carrying out extensive introspection, an educator can understand their strong and weak areas in a better manner and work on their teaching methods accordingly. Many studies show that using reflective teaching actually helps the educators in achieving significant professional growth.
Reflective teaching can be used to weed out the problematic and challenging areas in your teaching by coming up with innovative ideas. You don’t need to brainstorm for hours at the end. Instead, after each class, spare a few minutes for analyzing and identifying the positive experiences as well as the more challenging ones while taking the class. This reflective teaching practice helps the educators as they get a much better understanding of their classroom performance. After identifying the challenging experiences in each class, educators should then think about ways to eliminate and improve upon those problem areas.
Better Student-Teacher Relationships-
Reflective teaching encourages the educators to take into account the unique learning needs of individual students. As a result, the educators put efforts in cultivating positive relationships with individual students for understanding and catering to their unique learning requirements.
Reflective teaching and learning is a highly beneficial pedagogical strategy which is advantageous to the learners and educators alike. We hope that after reading this article, more educators will try out the innovative and wonderful practice of reflective teaching in their classroom. Happy Teaching!