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Educators Speak: REFLECTIVE TEACHING

Manila Bulletin, June 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Educators Speak: REFLECTIVE TEACHING


IN the Philippines, one of the few institutions to offer courses on critical thinking and reflection in relation to teaching is the Philippine Normal University, which is the National Center for Teacher Education. Critical and Reflective Pedagogy is a required course expected to lead Curriculum and Instruction (CIN) majors to examine instructional practices in various contexts, and to study power relations regarding race, culture, class, gender, and age in various educational settings. At the end of the course, CIN doctoral students are expected to have "developed critical consciousness and to have internalized the principles of reflective practice which form a holistic model for the teacher as a reflective practitioner... in both the basic and tertiary levels of education."

Doctoral students at the PNU have shared various impressions on the subject offered for the past four years. After attending a class for a semester, a sociology professor of a prestigious university wrote that the course had definitely added a great dimension to her way of teaching. Through the subject, the young professor revealed to this writer that she was made to see what she just thought and was made to feel what she just heard.

For her part, the Vice President for Academic Affairs of a social science institute opined that "the reflective process is very useful because it allows us to see things we normally take for granted which are of utmost value to us as educators. Because I really value the subject, I have made recommendations for my paper in my other subject to use the framework of critical and reflective pedagogy in the K+12 program of DepEd. Only critically inward/outward thinking teachers may facilitate an open and honest pedagogy for learning."

The academic head of an exclusive school, on the other hand, utilizes reflection in her management of her teachers' professional growth and hopes to promote a culture of reflective practice in her particular community. She wrote that reflection has enhanced her professional life as a teacher and as an administrator. Holding post conferences with teachers after class observations has made her see the need for teachers to conduct reflection on their teaching practices to determine the relevance and effectiveness of their performance. In her words, "I believe that reflection exercises should be part and parcel of educational practices to create a culture which promotes reflective teaching practitioners within the school system .

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