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Arkansas State University

How Does Reflective Teaching Help students?

Reflective teaching is an important concept. What might seem like busy work in educator programs actually can really change the way you function in the classroom as a teacher. The goal of analyzing your teaching with reflection specifically allows you to find what works best or worse in the classroom and adjust your approach. This can make you a much more effective teacher and can help your students know that you have their best interest in mind when designing your classroom teaching strategy. Knowing how reflective teaching can create a better learning environment for your students is the best way to understand why you should be using these techniques.

Reflection Creates Student-Centered Learning

When you are in front of the classroom teaching, the first things that come to mind are generally about how to get through the lesson at hand or what is coming up next. However, without the student in the classroom, the teacher would not have a reason to be there. Student-centered learning is one of the foundations of modern educational theory and practice. One of the best methods for developing your reflective understanding is to ask for student feedback and use that information to create better lesson plans in the future. This feedback can come from a wide variety of sources, such as the students’ families or other teachers.

Reflection Leads to Better Teaching

When you first learned to ride a bike, you had to remember multiple steps to accomplish it. Speeding up, balancing, stopping: each skill required a bit of reflection as you were learning, and putting it all together took a bit as well. What might seem like one simple task to those who know how to do it is really many small complex tasks that all come together perfectly. Teaching is more complex, but it is also a combination of many small and repetitive tasks that all come together to form a bigger picture. Reflective teaching helps you understand how to better perform each little part to create a better future.

In a world of teaching standards based on student outcomes, being able to reflect upon your classroom activities may seem like a luxury that most teachers do not have time for. In reality, what seems like a luxury can help you provide higher quality educational opportunities to the young people you serve. Not only will it make you a better teacher, it will also help you develop your students into better learners.

Learn more about A-State’s Online MS in Education in Educational Theory and Practice.


National Association for the Education of Young Children

Edutopia: The Reflective Teacher: Taking a Long Look

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