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Reflective Teaching

Download a digital copy of the Reflective Teaching Log here. Instructions: Download the .pdf file to your computer. Open and save with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview (on a mac) to type your reflections.
Request a printed copy of the Reflective Teaching Log here. Printed copies will be delivered to the first 98 faculty who complete this form.

About Reflective Teaching

John Dewey is famous for saying, "We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience." As instructors, we design activities for our students to help them reflect on what they are learning, how well they understand the content so far, and how they can apply what they know to new scenarios. Reflection is an important part of the learning process.

Reflection is also part of the professional life of an instructor. Reflective teaching is a process of continually reflecting on and analyzing many aspects of your teaching in order to improve it. The reflective process can focus on

  • what went well or poorly in class and why,
  • our own assumptions about teaching,
  • how well our teaching practices align with our teaching philosophies,
  • our own backgrounds as learners and instructors,
  • how our students perceive our teaching practices or course content,
  • how our teaching practices align with theories and best practices,
  • peer feedback,
  • student feedback,
  • and more.

Through reflection, instructors will have a clearer picture of where they are, where they would like to go, and how they can get there. Reflection is a valuable stopping point between action and adjustment.

Without taking the time for reflection, we are in danger of acting on assumptions instead of facts, repeating the same problematic teaching strategies semester after semester, or being disconnected from the students we should be reaching.

One component of reflective teaching is using a Reflective Teaching Log. In a Reflective Teaching Log, you schedule a small amount of time each week to reflect on what happened in your classes and why you think it went that way. Over time, you accumulate a great deal of data that you can also reflect on in order to make decisions and plans for your future classes and your professional development.

One of the reasons that CTE recommends using a Reflective Teaching Log is because it captures a picture of what’s going on in the moment. In the middle of a semester, you may find that you don't have much time to reflect on your teaching or to make decisions about what you want to try next. By the end of the semester, when you have more time to reflect on how things went and what you would like to adjust for the future, you may have forgotten a lot of the details of what happened in the past.

Just as instructors design opportunities for reflection to support their students' learning, CTE has designed a Reflective Teaching Log to support faculty's professional development. You can read more about reflective journaling as part of a Reflective Teaching practice in the Log.

Please join in this semester as CCRI faculty use this Reflective Teaching Log!