What is Reflective Teaching?

Teaching is a complex and highly skilled activity, and teachers must exercise judgement in deciding how to act to support learning most effectively. Open-minded consideration of evidence, about one’s own work or that of others, enriches the quality of such judgement so that practice becomes ‘evidence-informed’. High-quality teaching, and thus learner progress, is dependent on the existence of such professional expertise.

Whether in early, school, further, vocational or higher education, expertise is developed through successive levels. Reflective practice enables the novice to progress, over time, towards expert leadership in their field. Given the nature of teaching, professional development and learning should never stop.

Reflective teaching should be personally fulfilling for teachers, but will also lead to a steady increase in the quality of the education provided for learners. It thus supports the improvement of outcomes and helps to satisfy accountability requirements whether in early, school, further, vocational or higher education.  At the same time, it draws particular attention to the aims, values and social consequences of education, and to its contribution to the future.