Topic 2: Reflection on own professional practice

In the previous topic we have looked at the various components of critical reflection and how different questions can be used to reveal new understandings about ourselves and the world around us. In this topic, we will focus on bringing these insights to bear on our own pedagogical practices.

Self-reflection can be a salient initial step: To help other people [i.e., students] contest beliefs and judgments that might be problematic, we need first to identify whether, and how, those beliefs and judgments might also be embedded in our own everyday practice and mode of pedagogy. This might involve asking questions about our own personal beliefs and ideas, or those we regularly encounter in our working (or family) environments.

To reflect critically on our own practice, we need to look into the various components that make up our everyday experience as pedagogical actors. These components can vary, depending on our circumstances. The way we experience the assumptions that undergird our thoughts and actions can vary.

The above means that there is not a pre-determined process to follow when thinking critically about our own pedagogical practice. As we might be exposed to various assumptions and perspectives (either our own or of others) in different ways, our line of questioning is context-specific.

However, there are many helpful approaches based on researches (Brookfield, 1987; Liu, 2015; Liu, 2020) on pedagogical methods that can offer a framework for processes of critical reflection in pedagogy (please see an example in the table that follows).

Table 1.1: Stages of critical reflection for transformative learning (Liu, 2020: 8)