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L. Davies Conference Presentation

on 19 May 2015

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Transcript of Self-Reflection

Teachers may focus their own critical lens upon themselves in the process of self-reflection, and try to prove themselves not only to themselves, but also in writing to their supervisor.

Ironic Twist?

Traditional PE
We endeavor to prove teachers' effectiveness with a formal PE observation that may possibly undermine their ability to perform during a high-risk, one time observation.
Self-reflective PE
In what ways does self-reflection as part of a performance evaluation impact teaching practice?
as part of Performance Evaluation
Design & Implementation
of a Tool for

of video-based
English Language Centres
North Burnaby Learning Centre
Critical Inquiry through Video Analysis
PD -- May 2012
The beginnings...
All too often “the traditional observation is viewed with hostility and even fear.”
(Quirke 1996)
“Observations are really a bit of a charade as both teacher and students are on their best behavior.”
(Quirke 1996)
Instructors' Response ...
(Marshall & Young, 2009)
Effective and collaborative supervision of language teachers involves understanding teacher and learner characteristics and needs, approaching supervision from a developmental rather than an evaluative perspective, and engaging in reflective communication.
Teachers reflecting on their own teaching practice is a more powerful stimulus to their improvement than the observation and scrutiny of an outsider.
experience + reflection = growth and development
Experience alone is insufficient for professional growth...
If we do not reflect, we cannot learn...
Reflective practice is nothing new; nonetheless, when and how it is implemented by teachers is open to possibility.
MA project:

Exploring the potential of using a self-reflective approach to performance evaluations.
In 1904 Dewey observed that preparing teachers to be critically reflective about their practice maybe more important in the long term than focusing on mastery of the techniques and skills ...
June 2013, MOSAIC Vancouver Language Centre
implemented a self-reflective PE process.
make it manageable
10-15 minutes of video
Focus on
the complex meanings underlying
the observable acts
of teaching
Only the instructor
views the video
Even with the best of intentions,
there are limitations:

1 time observation
snapshot in a year of teaching
investment of time & energy
reality of what goes on in the classroom
unnatural state/dynamic with observer
"That's not what I would normally do!"
Collaborative Approach
Goal is improvement
Constructive Feedback
Identify problems
Develop strategies for change
Sensitivity in Debriefing Sessions:
Identify strengths & weakness
Invite instructor's perspective
What went well?
What would you have done differently?

(Richards 1998)
(Richards & Nunan 1990)
guided reflection
skills & behaviours
Getting teachers to ask questions they may not normally ask!

Jennifer Dodds - Team Leader, NBLC
Facilitated by Jennifer Dodds, Team Leader
“Each of us needs to construct, reconstruct, and revise our own teaching.”
(Richards & Nunan, 1990)
"...adopt a critical attitude to ourselves as individual second-language teachers – to challenge our espoused personal beliefs about teaching."
(Richards & Nunan, 1990)
Reflective inquiry
"does not involve the modification
of behavior by externally imposed directions or requirements" rather it requires "deliberation and analysis of our ideas about teaching as a form of action based on our changed understandings."
(Richards & Nunan, 1990)
In line with
current trends in
Power-shift from supervisor to teacher
Teachers take ownership over their
teaching practice
Less prescriptive
more inquiry-based & discovery oriented

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