Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Teachers Who Think about Their Practice

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Teachers Who Think about Their Practice

Article excerpt

The best educational researcher, just like the best career counselor, could very well be the classroom teacher of agriculture. What characterizes the teacher as a model for research? Why wouk a teacher want to be an investigator?

Stephen Brookfield (1995) reminds us that "when teachers are asked about learning more about teaching, they often say that they haven't learned much in their work and that things stay about the same year to year. However, when they reply to specific questions probing how they have changed in the last twelve months, many are surprised at how much has happened to them" (p. 75).

Teachers who think about their practice do more than merely select their technical content and deliver it in familiar ways. Teachers who think about their practice are teachers who follow a process of reflection. As identified by Brookfield (1995), "thinking teachers" are teachers who conduct self-reflection activities, listen and gather perceptions of professional colleagues, gather student input and review the literature for ideas and approaches to improve their practice. It is, in a sense, a personal investigation into the practice of teaching.

Teachers who think about their practice are models for their students. Students, regardless what they may say, want to please their teachers. If teachers act in a manner that suggests they are trying to improve their practice of teaching, students will know and will recognize the effort by their input and their actions.

Teaching is often characterized as being a lonely profession. Whether or not this is true is more dependent on the teacher than on the circumstances in which the teacher operates. Investigating our practice means gathering input deliberately and continually. …

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