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Reflective Practice

Page history last edited by Susanne Croasdaile 11 years, 5 months ago

  Whenever we, as educators, take an analytic look at what we do with the intention of improving our practice based on what we perceive, we're engaging in reflective practice. It's a kind of action research that's intended to help us make change based on our professional knowledge and decision-making skills. There are many forms and products of reflective practice, from very formal (such as a published research report in a peer-reviewed journal about how a certain educational practice was used to effect change in student performance) to the very informal (deciding while standing at the photocopier to only copy cooperative group project directions "one-sided" because none of your groups adequately addressed the steps on the back of the directions sheet in the last three projects).


 The basic outline of reflective practice is as follows: you pose a question related to your practice and then observe the status quo, change something, observe the new situation, and evaluate the outcome. The key to reflective practice is that it is continuous: you don't just ask one question and make one change, but keep going with large and small questions that often generate more questions! In the example above related to copying project directions, the teacher may find that after copying on only one side, all of the groups addressed all of the project steps. On the other hand, she may find that the students complete the same or fewer of the directions-which may lead her to have students write in their journals about "what makes it easy and what makes it hard to finish all the steps in a cooperative project." The idea is that we continue to improve our practice and be responsive to student needs so everyone is successful in the educational environment.




 How does reflective practice relate to Universal Design for Learning?



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