Thoughts about the painful art of reflective practice

Reflective practice, this is, by far, is one of my biggest challenges.  Not so much the reflection part, as I think we all do that intuitively, but capturing that in words, defining it. I have certainly found that I learn much more from something that has gone wrong  as opposed to what has gone right..  Reflecting on what went wrong and what you will do to change it is a part of life.  Learning to reflect on what went right and how to make it better is the pursuit of excellence.

Reflective practice is a vital part of the journey as instructors.

When I looked up reflective practice in Wikipedia:

“Reflective practice is the ability to reflect on an action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. According to one definition it involves “paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively. This leads to developmental insight“. A key rationale for reflective practice is that experience alone does not necessarily lead to learning; deliberate reflection on experience is essential.” (Italics mine) (“Reflective practice,” 2016)

Reflections on this educational journey have led to a great number of big ah-ha moments. As I look back I realize that I learned a lot (probably more) about designing curriculum and determining course objectives or outcomes when I took Assessment of Learning than when I took Curriculum Development.  Trying to write assessment items and instruments led me to – is that the outcome we really determined?  Or – ‘is that what we really want?  Or what I think we really want.’  I did a lot of reflection on that thought the next time I delivered the course. This led to changing the outcomes of my course(s).

I am (oddly enough) looking forward to what I will learn using reflective practice about Professional Practice!


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