This year, ACCESS is offering 2 opportunities to participate in each monthly SKiP call topic.
Today, we had the second offering of a conference call on Reflective Practice. It was really interesting to talk with a second group of colleagues and explore the different ways people are thinking about reflection: how they are working with students, and how they are working with their partners on campus.
SKiP Call notes: 2/10/12
There were 11 participants in today’s conference call from IA, IL, MA, MO, SC, and NC.
- Linda talked about her concern about how to explain or teach reflection to her students so they can do it better. Participants agreed that having a list of questions is very helpful. Sarah described a protocol that she uses from an article in The ChildCare Exchange magazine, the Tuning Protocol that she finds very useful. We also asked the question: “When do we reflect?” Do we model it? Do our students know that we value it?
- Sandra described how she tries to let her students know why reflection is so important. She reads excerpts from Vivian Paley’s You Can’t Say You Can’t Play as a model of reflective practice.
- Elaine discussed her observation that her students seem to have trouble putting their ideas down on paper, and there was a consensus that this is something we all experience. Students seem better able to talk about it. Lisa Talked about a successful strategy she uses to address this using peer review of each other’s writing with a rubric that specifies what to look for.
- Debra talked about an article she just read that describes a reflection strategy involving “well-remembered events” (see reference below). Students write weekly about an event that stands out to them in their student teaching. They must first describe the event, then discuss what they think is the cause/ what influenced the event, and then discuss what the implications are for teaching. This seems like an interesting approach to helping students reflect on experiences that are meaningful to them. Sarah suggested that this represents metacognition, and that education today does not support reflection or thinking about thinking, so students do not have experience in reflective thinking.
Carter, K. Preservice teachers’ well-remembered events and the acquisition of event-structured knowledge. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 26 (3). 235-252.
- Ellen described an article that she uses, The Power of Mindful Reflection, and how it talks about automatic thinking we tend to go to what we already know, which helps to explain why students need encouragement to go beyond their comfort-zone and put their ideas out to the group. Someone suggested that we, as professors, also seem to be wary of risk-taking in a group, and that we can be sensitive to this when we wonder why our students might not be comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas.
- A question was asked about using video-taped sessions of students in the classroom as data for reflection. We suggested that the observation protocol submitted by Laurie after yesterday’s SKiP call was a potential tool for this.
- Finally, a participant going through accreditation suggested that the experience of reflecting for the self-study gave the faculty in her program new insight and sensitivity to what it feels like to be required to reflect. The general consensus is the more we reflect, the more we will be able to offer our students opportunities to reflect and to scaffold their efforts.