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Director Shamini Dias, PhD
Preparing Future Faculty
Claremont Graduate University
135 E 12th Street
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 607-6225 l pff@cgu.edu

Reflective Practice Reflective Practice

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Teaching is not just an instrumental process. It is complex, relational process that demands technical know-how combined with self-knowledge and empathy.

In every aspect of teaching, we make choices and take action. These choices and actions are shaped by who we are, and our (often unconscious) assumptions, values, and beliefs acquired over long years as students ourselves. Left this way, teaching remains a mystery, and an often arduous and stressful process. This is where reflective practice comes in. Through reflective practice we surface our implicit perspectives on teaching and learning, and develop a more aware and intentional approach that makes teaching effective and efficient. We waste less time and get better results. We even have fun!

Reflective practice leads to teaching philosophy. A teaching philosophy is a pedagogical world-view that we have become consciously aware of through critical reflection, where we have intentionally made choices about why and how we teach in alignment our personal values. Developing philosophical positions as educators is part of our identity formation as teachers, leaders, and scholars. We guide you in reflective practice in the workshop process to affirm, clarify, or transform your values and beliefs in relation to pedagogical best practices. Without this connection between theory and practice, professional development in teaching does not lead to real change.

Reflective Practice in the PFF Program

A key part of the PFF Program is the development of a reflective practice as teacher-scholars. We have designed two inter-related requirements to help you build your reflective practice.

  1. Reflections Assignments. After each workshop, you write a 1-2 page reflection in response to a reflection prompt. These reflections as a way to connect your experiences as a learner and a teacher to pedagogical knowledge so that you can develop intentional and authentic values and principles as an educator.
     
  2. Teaching Philosophy Statement. The teaching philosophy statement is an articulation of why you teach, what you value as a teacher in terms of your outcomes for students, and how you teach and develop your teaching based on these motivations and values. The process of writing a teaching philosophy statement makes explicit the values and principles we espouse as teacher-scholars. It is not, therefore, a simple essay. Neither is there a formula or prescribed contents. It takes self-exploration, connecting – and often revising - what we believe and value with pedagogical best practices to build a knowledge base and principles congruent to our disciplines and to who we are as educators
     

To help you consolidate your reflections and discoveries of your identity as an educator, you use a Reflections Journal through your entire journey toward the PFF Certificate. This structured journal is your gathering place for the results of your self-exploration as a teacher-scholar. We have structured the Journal to help you explore teaching and learning in relation to who you are as an educator, as well as a space where you can collect and synthesize the insights and ideas you are developing through the PFF program. Ideas and insights remain disparate until we pull them all together; only then can we see connections and patterns emerge that give us a coherent narrative about our identities, goals, values, and beliefs as educators.


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