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Don harps on ‘reflective teaching’ for teachers’ efficiency

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A University of Ibadan (UI) don and the Acting Head of Department of Science and Technology Education, Faculty of Education, Dr. Temisan Angela Ige, said reflective teaching has become a global practice that has reshaped the instructional process and contributed immeasurably to teachers’ professional development.

This is as she noted that part of the benefits accruing from teacher reflections is to ensure the progression and sustainability of educational practices, teaching and learning, and how they interact to deliver high quality educational output while ensuring the continued versatility of the teacher. This was part of the thrusts of the 15th Faculty of Education lecture series delivered by Dr. Ige, last week, in which she added that teaching and classroom practice is a process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.

The theme of the lecture was: “Teaching, Reflecting and Learning – The Triad of Classroom Practice.”

The don further stressed that all a teacher does will be futile if no learning takes place for both the students and the teachers, as learning, according to her, is a change in human disposition or capability that persists over a period of time and is not simply ascribable to processes of growth. She also pointed out that learners are more successful at acquiring new competencies when they build strong metacognitive abilities, reflect objectively on new concepts learned and integrate the information into their existing knowledge and skills.

Dr. Ige also explained that teaching, reflecting and learning form part of the script which must be improved for replay in subsequent classes, as this cycle of teaching, reflecting and learning is what is considered to be the “Triad of Classroom Practice,” as every section of the triad involves active decision making.

According to the lecturer, decision- making involves the application of professional judgment in deciding, what, where, how and why to use the components of teaching, as teaching and learning involve decision-making, which in turn is a product of reflection.

Dr. Ige, who stressed that reflection is an essential component of good teaching, however, noted that reflective teaching involves thinking on one’s feet as a teacher performs multiple tasks in supporting students’ learning.

She added that teachers as reflective thinkers need to be confident and resolute; be willing to explore and take risks in the classroom, so as to improve their self-awareness and knowledge, gain new understanding of their world and professional status.

Apart from these, she added that part of the qualities of teachers as reflective thinkers is that he should be ready to act upon this understanding; be willing to negotiate their understanding and actions in the light of new and more progressive information.

On the benefits of reflective practice, Dr. Ige further argued that it transcends individual gains and impacts the learners, schools, and society, adding that, it makes the individual to be better prepared to expect the unexpected, more willing and able to re-examine what they already know, better at restructuring strategies and framing problems, able to invent on-the-spot experiments to put new understanding to the test or to answer the puzzling questions that may arise from an event, able to create knowledge about classroom events, able to develop skills and modify their attitude and behaviour, and to be continuously learning and contributing to their professional growth.

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