Reflective practice is an active process of attending to your own experience of teaching in order to explore it in some depth. At its core according to Schon is a ‘dialogue of thinking and doing through which I become more skilled’ (1987:31). Learning for Schon develops by thinking critically and deeply about what we are doing in order that we may transform that experience and reapply in new contexts. In many respects Tutor Training – Professional Development Online has been designed to invite reflection on your teaching practice, where you have an opportunity to ‘see’ others in practice. Each audio-video clip for example can be seen as holding up a mirror where you have an opportunity to think about your own practice – it may be simply to affirm a strategy or approach you are already putting into use or to provide an alternative technique or it may that what you are seeing ought to be challenged.
Teaching or tutoring presents a powerful opportunity to learn through reflection – in doing so you have an opportunity to improve the educational experiences you provide for your students and to identify the professional education you need to further develop your capacity to teach well. Of course the extent to which ‘seeing’ others teach leads to a change in your thinking of teaching, or in your practice, is entirely up to you.
There are many ways of incorporating reflective practice into your role as tutor, whether novice or experienced, and in this section we help you to explore how. Recognising the role of reflection in trawling experience for learning and familiarising yourself with the basic elements of reflective practice will assist you to the ongoing development of your skills. For many of us a useful starting point is on drawing on a number of evaluative techniques. In getting student feedback you’ll be introduced to a range of strategies and resources that allow you to hear directly from students about your teaching. Peer observation is dedicated to encouraging you to seek out peers to observe, and to open your doors to others. You may wish to use this form to reflect on your teaching at the end of semester: