Objectivity in Reflective Practice

In previous posts, I have argued that reflective practice, if it is to remain a core activity in the development of teaching proficiency, needs to incorporate objectivity and comprehensively minimize its subjectivity, since subjectivity erodes both efficacy and philosophical validity. Reflective practice may be adequate, and philosophically coherent as a tool of pure self development, but when there are others besides the self affected, as there certainly are in teaching, it is the perspective and interests of those others that must be first and foremost provisioned.

It is my belief that the gains of reflective practice are minor, to the degree that the the emphasis given to it in pedagogical theory and teacher training is unjustified. There is an absence of strong, demonstrable, quantifiable improvement.

The following is an attempt to rectify the subjectivity bias that is intrinsic in reflective practice in its current guise.

In this method, the reflective teacher compares and contrasts his perception of his own performance with his students’ perception of his performance. In this way, the input of an external reference is explicitly acquired for the purpose of informing the reflective practitioner. The aggregated input of students should be of primary interest to the reflective practitioner, and possibly secondary only to the input of expert.

The method is described here.

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