Time for Reflection and Professional Dialogue

‘We need time to think about and talk about our classroom practices, the what and how of what we are doing and why … we need to talk about this with each other’. Elizabeth, a secondary school teacher is speaking.

‘If you are not being reflective, if you are not taking account of the context, you can’t make good decisions’.

‘I don’t mean that teachers should feel guilty about their practice because often its just so hard to find time to stop and reflect’.

Nguyen chipped in, ‘I’m the opposite I want teachers to feel guilty! When you feel guilty it’s because you care and you know there’s more you can do.’

‘But the guilt can have a negative effect’, says Elizabeth, ‘it’s sometimes OK for the teacher to offer less than their best and, the teacher should not feel guilty about this. It’s a big job. Some days I’m just tired … . I think we need to accept that we are human’.

‘Can we ever have a time that is not a teaching time … a time to refresh where nothing is expected?’.

‘We need more non-contact time to allow for discussion and reflection between teaching. We need that reflection time … to think about the fluid things, the things that we do that we do not value … the things that we do that we don’t consciously know we are doing but we are.’

Burrows, Peter, Bill Cope, Mary Kalantzis, Les Morgan, Kieju Suominen and Nicola Yelland. 2006. Data from the Australian Research Council Learning By Design Project. ‘Unpublished Manuscript‘.