Reflective teaching is an approach which has gained significant momentum in language teaching. In his personal reflection about thirty years of TEFL/TESL, Richards (2015) contends that language teachers have moved away from a search of the perfect method and have shifted their attention to developing and exploring their own teaching through reflective teaching and action research.
Murphy (2001) points out that teachers can grow as professionals in different ways which let them look inward, both within themselves and within the courses they offer, to access information about what happens in their language classrooms. He asserts that a central reason to be interested in reflective teaching is to “gain awareness of our teaching beliefs and practices” and to learn “to see teaching differently, and to learn to take action in order to enhance the quality of learning opportunities we are able to provide in our classrooms.” He also claims that we should spend time and energy to develop understandings if we consider our continuing needs as teachers and the needs of the language learners we serve. Murphy poses three main purposes of reflective teaching (RT):
- To expand one’s understanding of the teaching learning process.
- To expand one’s repertoire of strategic options as a language teacher.
- To enhance the quality of learning opportunities one is able to provide in language classrooms.
Upon the satisfactory completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify the features of reflective thought.
- Become aware of the main theoretical tenets underlying RT.
- Make explicit their underlying beliefs, assumptions and principles they hold about their teaching
- Explore their teaching and reflect on their teaching principles and the teaching practices.
- Draw a metaphor about their teaching identities.
- Put into effect thoughtful reflection and professional dialogue on critical issues in education and
- Adopt courses of action to solve problems and to improve their teaching practices.
- Implement diverse RT tools as a way of exploring and keeping a record of their teaching experiences.
- Develop critical thinking towards the literature available on reflective teaching.
- Exchange their professional views and to give feedback each other.
- Conceptualize their professional identity by means of their internal narratives.