What I have learned from this particular quote is that meaningful professional development involves educators as whole persons comprising of their values, beliefs, and assumptions about teaching (Cranton & King, 2003, p. 33).The only way that educators can teach and promote reflective practice to their students in their classrooms is to engage in, embrace, and fully understand this process themselves. If educators put greater emphasis on their own critical reflections, it can lead to possible transformational learning exhibited through reflective actions of both educators and students. Dewey (1997, p. 36) asserted that when learners engage with and reflect upon authentic problems to resolve their internal dissonance, they reconstruct the situation, which in turn rebuilds their reality and self-concepts. Learners transform to become new people with the potential for new cycles of disequilibrium, problem exploration, resolution, and reconstruction. Ultimately, he called this process “growth”.
In future teachings, creating an atmosphere that encourages self-expression and exploration will be essential to transformational learning for my students. When individuality, uniqueness, and difference are valued, there will be freedom to explore new ideas (Lindeman, 1961, p. 36). This must include personal, critical reflection, active participation, and a willingness to share and challenge others perspectives. Most importantly, a supportive, accepting environment must be in place (King, 2004). Creating this environment where I am comfortable with this active involvement and critical reflection will require me to be willing to take risks.
Reflection is usually not a part of the curriculum in metal fabrication as it cannot be measured nor tested. By utilizing some of these critical reflection techniques, it will encourage students to be willing and able to question, explore and critique ways of behaving and thinking as they engage in workplace experiences well into the future (Higgins, 2011). Therefore, the student is better able to understand and gain insights into his/her skills, competencies and knowledge. The use of critical reflection increases the chances of the learning being relevant and meaningful to the student. Moreover, the student’s engagement in reflection can assist them in making sense of themselves, their learning experience and preparation for the future learning.
It is important to realize the implications for my students in developing their own critical reflections. Students will learn a great deal from me by observing how I question and reflect on what I do, why I do it, what works, and why I believe it is important. Ultimately, my job will be to help my students be able to think for themselves. As Osterman (1990) comments, “critically reflective teachers – teachers who make their own thinking public, and therefore subject to discussion – are more likely to have classes that are challenging, interesting, and stimulating for students” (p. 139).
Beavers, A. (2009). Teachers as Learners: Implications of Adult Education for Professional Development. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, v6 n7 pp.25-30. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ895065
Cornelius-White, J., Harbaugh, A., (n.d.). Learner-Centered Instruction: Building Relationships for Student Success. Sage. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=dLI6dcA-k6MC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=rogers+1969+p.+104&source
Cranton, P., & King, K. (2003). Transformative Learning as a Professional Goal. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 98, 31-37 used in objective. From teachers as learners journal of college teaching & learning – November 2009, volume 6, Number 7 Amy Beavers, University of Tennessee, USA.
Gerstein, J. (2011). Where is reflection in the learning process? User Generated Education. Retrieved from https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/where-is-reflection-in-the-learning-process/
Higgins, D. (2011). Why reflect? Recognising the link between learning and reflection. Reflective Practice, 12(5), 583-584. doi:10.1080/14623943.2011.606693
King, K. P. (2004). Both Sides Now: Examining Transformative Learning and Professional Development of Educators. Innovative Higher Education, 29(2), 155-174. Used in reflective From teachers as learners journal of college teaching & learning – November 2009, volume 6, Number 7 Amy Beavers, University of Tennessee, USA.
Lindeman, E. (1961). The Meaning of Adult Education. New York: Harvest House used in reflective.
Lucas, P. (2012). Critical reflection. What do we really mean? Auckland University of Technology (and PhD student Deakin University). Retrieved from http://acen.edu.au/2012conference/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/92_Critical-reflection.pdf